Belfast Telegraph

Home News Health

Patients' care still a concern at Belfast 's Royal Victoria Hospital A&E unit, finds report

By Victoria O'Hara

Treating patients with privacy and dignity in the Emergency Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital still remains an issue for the trust, a healthcare watchdog report has found.

During an unannounced inspection by the Regulation Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA), a nurse was found to have spoken to a patient using "undignified and unacceptable" language.

Meal services were also described as a "nightmare" by staff and risk assessments were not being carried out on some patients.

The team which carried out the follow-up inspection in May - four months after a major incident was declared at the A&E - found the operation of the Emergency Department (ED) was being put at risk by caring for patients who should be transferred.

In one incident inspectors overheard two ED nurses caring for an unco-operative patient. The report said the patient had not been previously assessed for pain which may have been a contributory factor but said the words used by one nurse remained "unacceptable".

Around 40 people were on trolleys waiting hours for treatment in January, sparking the Major Incident.

An initial inspection carried out afterwards made 25 recommendations for A&E.

Of the findings revealed only one was fully achieved.

Staff being supported to ensure appropriate care and privacy was given and a system in place to identify patients who require meals were not achieved.

The report also found drinks were not provided during dinner and tea service, only breakfast.

Nursing staff said that because of workload they were unable to provide tea/toast in the evening.

Health Minister Jim Wells said significant improvement was needed within the Belfast Trust. A follow-up inspection report will take place later this year.

A spokeswoman for the trust said it was "committed to meeting the recommendations" and has introduced number of major initiatives in preparation for winter. This includes a new direct access assessment unit for GPs who refer frail, elderly patients via ambulance.

A Rapid Access Neuro Clinic for people arriving with seizures has also been opened in the A&E unit.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph