Probe over elderly patient care after Victoria Infirmary ward inspection

A PROBE is under way following the poor treatment of elderly patients at a Glasgow hospital.

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Staff at the Victoria Infirmary were criticised after patients' feet were left trailing while they were moved in wheelchairs
Staff at the Victoria Infirmary were criticised after patients' feet were left trailing while they were moved in wheelchairs

The latest inspection of the Victoria Infirmary revealed some patients were not appropriately dressed, while others had trouble accessing water.

Despite 98% of people saying they received good care at the hospital and 93% saying they had assistance to wash and go to the toilet, some patients were still forced to wash in basins beside their beds due to a lack of available facilities.

The snap inspections took place between April 22 and 24, and on May 19 this year by a team from Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS).

Concerns were raised about the hospital's Mansionhouse unit, which looks after elderly and dementia patients.

The ward door was locked, meaning patients could not return after being outside.

Inspectors also saw staff pushing one patient in a wheelchair with their foot trailing along the ground, and another patient was dragged to the toilet in a chair with their feet also trailing on the floor. The report mentioned "several examples where we were concerned that staff were not treating patients with the dignity and respect we would expect."

This included patients not wearing their own clothes and walking around in hospital gowns, which were deemed unsuitable for protecting patients' dignity.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) highlighted a problem with "boarding" at the Victoria Infirmary, saying it had been told there had been 162 cases in one month where patients were moved from one ward to another that was not as well suited to their needs.

Rosslyn Crocket, NHSGGC's director of nursing, said she was "very disappointed" with some of the report's findings.

Ms Crocket said: "In response we have instigated a disciplinary investigation against one member of staff and changed local senior nursing arrangements where necessary.

"We note the HIS comments regarding capacity.

"We are clearly aware that some of our hospitals are old and do not offer the accommodation we require to deliver 21st century health care.

"This is why we are undergoing near billion pound modernisation of Glasgow's hospital provision which will result in the closure of four existing acute hospital sites including the Victoria Infirmary and Mansionhouse Unit."

Amy Dalrymple, head of policy at Alzheimer Scotland said that the charity was "working in close partnership" with the Government and the NHS to address the problems, including those of moving dementia patients between wards.


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