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Patient care and safety put at risk in A&E at brand new £350m hospital

Patients visiting Wales' newest emergency department were likely to have been put at risk of harm due to the lack of processes and systems in place, inspectors found. Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) carried out an unannounced inspection of The Grange University Hospital in Cwmbran between 1 and 3 November last year and published its findings on 29 March.

On the day of their arrival inspectors said The Grange was at full capacity with no empty beds in A&E or in the hospital in general. Despite the best efforts of staff who were "working hard under pressure" the report stated the emergency department had several issues which could have compromised the privacy and dignity of patients. This included problems with the physical environment of the waiting room, which was described as a "major cause of anxiety" for visitors, as well as with the flow of patients through the hospital in general.

It found that patients were not triaged and medically managed in A&E in a timely fashion with many being placed on uncomfortable chairs or in corridors for hours on end. Between 1 April 2021 and 1 November 2021, the average waiting time in the department was six hours and seven minutes.

The report said some issues required immediate action including the fact patients in the waiting area were often left to "deteriorate without being overseen". There were also infection control failures which could have led to the cross-contamination of Covid-19. "We were not assured that all the processes and systems in place were sufficient to ensure that patients consistently received an acceptable standard of safe and effective care," the report stated.

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Source: Wales Online, 1 April 2022


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