'Catalogue of woe' means the Great Western Hospital must improve

This Is Wiltshire: Chief nurse Hilary Walker said action was being taken Chief nurse Hilary Walker said action was being taken

Bosses of Great Western Hospital in Swindon have been told that a damning inspection report is a “wake up call”.

The report was published in December following an unannounced visit by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in October.

The CQC said the hospital did not meet three standards – cleanliness and infection control; staffing; and assessing and monitoring the quality of its service provision.

It did meet standards for respecting and involving patients and the care and welfare of patients.

The CQC said GWH did not have enough experienced nursing staff and found cleanliness on a number of wards to be “unacceptable”, with overflowing general waste bins and dust under patient beds that appeared to have been there for a number of days.

The report was discussed by Wiltshire Council’s Health Select Committee on Tuesday and GWH’s chief nurse Hilary Walker spoke of the action it was taking to meet standards.

Committee vice-chairman John Noeken said: “There is a little catalogue of woe there. This (report) is a wake-up call. There is a hell of a lot to be done.”

Ms Walker said the hospital had identified in early 2013 that it needed to recruit more nurses and had taken on 80 additional registered nurses in the past ten months, many coming from overseas. She said another 40 nurses were going to be recruited.

She said the hospital had decided it should have a ratio of one nurse to seven patients and had freed up senior sisters to provide a supervisory role on the wards.

Ms Walker told the committee, which met in Trowbridge, that the cleanliness issue was “embarrassing” and she would have expected the hospital’s own systems to identify problems.

She said they were speaking to Carillion, the hospital’s cleaning contractors, about improvements and an in-house nursing and housekeeping team was being established to carry out routine cleaning of medical equipment.

She said: “I think we are good at cleaning after a patient contact, but not so good at the routine weekly clean.”

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