‘Linen crisis at hospital affecting patient dignity’
7:20pm Friday 25th May 2012 in News
LINEN shortages at the Royal Gwent Hospital are causing “serious patient dignity issues” and have been bad enough at times in recent months to affect admissions.
Areport by a Gwent’s independent health watchdog reveals that though supply of basic items such as sheets, pillows, pillowcases and towels has improved lately, more must be done.
And a nurse told the Argus she feels “embarrassed” at the amount of times she finds the linen cupboard bare.
Aneurin Bevan Community Health Council (CHC), in a report for the health board, said the great majority of wards were experiencing “endemic frustrations”
including: ●Insufficient linen at weekends and bank holidays, requiring nurses to scour the hospital for supplies; ●Lack of nightdresses and pyjama tops and bottoms, creating what the report calls “serious patient dignity issues”; ●Lack of supplies leading to inappropriate use, such as pillowcases being used as towels; ●Inability to change beds as regularly as required; ●White fitted sheets reported as too small for the beds.
The CHC also received a number of independent reports, coinciding with its HPE (hospital and patient environment) monitoring visit to the Royal Gwent last month, about poor linen supplies affecting elderly patients.
These included a towel being rolled up in a pillowcase because of a lack of pillows, a patient asking for a blanket and being told none was available, and a patient sitting out on a chair with only a pyjama top on, and a sheet covering his lower half.
The nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Argus: “At times, nursing staff are unable to change bedding as there are no clean sheets to be found in the hospital.
“Patients are left in beds which are soiled because of this, which is no fault of the nursing staff. They cannot use what they do not have.
“I feel embarrassed every time I’m in this situation.”