Nearly half the hospitals targeted in covid-related spot checks were found to be breaching health and safety laws.
An unpublished Health and Safety Executive report found just five out of 17 acute hospitals inspected had high levels of compliance with measures to manage the risks around covid.
Meanwhile, letters were sent to eight hospitals “formally requiring them to take remedial action to remedy contraventions of health and safety law”. The remaining four hospitals were given advice.
The inspections — which involved 13 hospitals in England and two each in Scotland and Wales — focused on seven areas: risk assessment; management arrangements specific to covid; social distancing; cleaning and hygiene; ventilation; dealing with suspected covid cases; and personal protective equipment.
The health and safety watchdog highlighted social distancing in non-clinical areas — which covered areas outside of clinical wards such as offices, rest areas, changing rooms and workshops — as needing improvement in some hospitals.
The inspectors — who visited between November last year and January this year — also found some hospitals needed more robust covid security measures if they were to comply with government guidance.
HSE also noted that, although all the hospitals had adequate supplies of PPE, not all had adequate arrangements in place for ensuring it was used effectively.
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Source: HSJ, 5 May 2021