'˜Dignity compromised' at Leeds Teaching Hospitals, says report

The dignity of hospital patients was compromised when they had to be placed in cramped conditions on corridors at a shortstaffed NHS trust.

St James's Hospital in Leeds

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) found that some patients were being looked after in unsuitable conditions during “unprecedented” demand at St James’s University Hospital in Leeds.

Inspectors found that up to 40 patients a day were being placed in “non-designated” areas, including ward corridors and treatment rooms, at the hospital between October and December.

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A report by the watchdog said some patients were in parts of the hospital without windows and with no access to call bells.

The CQC report said: “On some wards, doors banged into patient beds or patient beds blocked access to toilet, bathroom and shower facilities.” The inspectors found that some patients were struggling to sleep on noisy corridors and nurses found it difficult to carry out checks on patients due to a lack of space.

But Staff at the hospital were praised for treating patients with compassion and respect. The report added: “Patients we spoke with said that they had been listened to, they felt safe, and they were treated with kindness.

Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust pointed out that the corridors referred to in the CQC report were all inside wards, and that patients were on beds, not trolleys

Professor Suzanne Hinchliffe, Chief Nurse and Deputy Chief Executive, said the use of temporary beds meant patients were not stuck in A&E.

She said “We know that we didn’t always get the experience right for patients during winter and wherever this was the case we conducted thorough reviews and provided full apologies to those patients and families.

“Last winter was an exceptionally busy time for our hospitals but despite this the CQC found no safety concerns during their visit.”