Hospital staff found wearing PPE incorrectly and not using hand gel in damning inspection
Written by on 7 October 2020
A hospital has been ordered to make “significant improvements” after inspectors found staff failing to comply with COVID-19 rules.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspected the William Harvey Hospital in Ashford, Kent, on 11 August.
Staff were found to be wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) incorrectly, not using hand gel or washing their hands properly, and not adhering to social distancing guidelines.
They also inspected medical wards for patients without the virus.
They found emergency department staff did not always have access to hand-washing facilities or hand sanitiser, with dispensers remaining empty at both entrances even after the issue was raised by inspectors.
Staff did not always use the right PPE and also failed to remove it between clinical areas and patient bays.
They also found cleaning schedules were not kept up to date, and there were no signs on display in rooms to indicate how many people were permitted to be in that area while being able to socially distance.
Five members of staff were seen in one room too small to enable social distancing, the report said.
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The hospital is run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, which has said it acted immediately to make improvements.
Dr Sara Mumford, interim director of infection prevention and control at the trust, said: “Since the inspection, we have retrained staff in the correct use of PPE and hand hygiene, put in place additional checks for cleaning, hand hygiene and PPE, reviewed and strengthened our policies and are making physical changes to the hospital to support social distancing.
“Staff have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic to care for patients, and their care and safety remains our priority.”
The CQC’s chief inspector of hospitals, Professor Ted Baker, said: “We have assurance by our weekly engagement from the trust leadership that these issues are being addressed. We continue to monitor the trust closely.
“We will return to inspect it, to determine whether significant improvements have been made and embedded.”