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Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 15 March and 13 April 2011
Date of Publication: 6 June 2011
Inspection Report published 6 June 2011 PDF

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People should be cared for in safe and accessible surroundings that support their health and welfare (outcome 10)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Are in safe, accessible surroundings that promote their wellbeing.

How this check was done

Our judgement

People who use services receive care and treatment in safe and accessible surroundings.

User experience

Patients and visitors told us they thought the building was in good general repair, and well maintained given that it was an old building.

Staff told us they felt the building was safe and well maintained. They were able to contact a help desk should any repair or maintenance issues arise and the service from an outside contractor was very good. Staff were confident that all the necessary health and safety checks were being undertaken and that appropriate regulations were adhered to. All staff spoken with confirmed that they had received training in health and safety, fire safety and were aware of contingency plans should there be plant failure or emergencies.

Other evidence

Corridors were well lit, heated, ventilated and had good access. There was suitable signage regarding health and safety, such as fire safety and restricted access to plant equipment. We saw the fire escape routes were clear and appropriately signed. The facilities manager and the minor injuries manager told us there were regular risk assessments.

There was clear evidence of the building complying with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 regulations. We saw appropriate signage relating to restricted access, fire safety, evacuation points and fire procedures, appropriate waste disposal, use of personal protective clothing and equipment and controls in place regarding particular plant equipment. The facilities manager confirmed that before any contractor was allowed to work on the premises they attended hospital induction training, which included health and safety. We saw records of this training, which are kept in case a contractor needs to return to the site at a later date.

There were no concerns raised regarding people’s right to privacy, dignity, choice and autonomy. We visited two wards and saw that male and female patients were accommodated separately and screens were used around beds when needed to maintain privacy. The screens were in good condition. Some bays had en suite toilet facilities. The minor injuries unit had appropriate screening and toilet facilities and there were side rooms for individual consultation. There were family rooms available for any relative or visitor who wishes to stay overnight. In the minor injuries unit there were designated play areas for children There were facilities for breast feeding mothers in the outpatients department and also the family rooms. There was a quiet room available for breaking bad news.

An audit has taken place to ensure that the premises are accessible and comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA). On touring the premises there was good level access, toilets for disabled people, vertical lifts to upper levels and designated car parking for disabled people.

The facilities manager confirmed the hospital complied with appropriate Department of Health best practice standards in planning, design and building components of healthcare facilities. Before any building work goes ahead an impact assessment and risk assessments are carried out.

Regular checks are made on machinery and equipment including the hoists, and we saw records of unsafe equipment taken out of use with adequate replacement. We saw that electrical equipment was regularly tested and inspected. The porters carry out six weekly checks of the oxygen cylinders and the full and empty cylinders are segregated. The most recent X-RAY radiation protection audit carried out in May 2010 found a high level of compliance with the relevant regulations governing the use of ionising radiation. The trust provided us with evidence that unused toilets and bathrooms were managed appropriately to decrease the risk of Legionella infection, which can lead to Legionnaires’ Disease.

There were appropriate licences and systems in place for the handling and disposal of waste. We saw that waste was appropriately bagged and colour coded, as well as labelled. There were four locations for the bins, and these were locked and out of view. There was no evidence of any build up of waste within the hospital and staff confirmed that the porters collected waste at regular intervals and were very careful to comply with all procedures. Staff told us they felt well supported by the porters with this. We saw the contractor’s current certificate of liability.

We saw that all chemicals were appropriately locked away. We spoke with two housekeepers who described appropriate use of cleaning products, managing a spillage. All staff are trained in the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) regulations during induction, and we saw a COSHH file with the relevant risk assessments in place.

The facilities manager and head p