COVID-19-focused inspection finds Forth Valley Royal Hospital staff must keep their distance

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) carried out an unannounced inspection of Forth Valley Royal Hospital recently and had to advise staff to keep their distance from each other.

Tuesday, 16th March 2021, 2:06 pm

The inspection, which took place on February 2, 2021, focused on measures the hospital had put in place regarding COVID-19.

Inspectors visited a number of areas of the Larbert hospital, including accident and emergency, the short stay medical ward, general medicine /infectious diseases ward, stroke ward, orthopaedic ward and respiratory/general medicine ward.

They also inspected the public and staff communal areas throughout the premises.

The tents appeared outside Forth Valley Royal Hospital shortly after the Health Improvement Scotland inspection

Following the inspection FVRH was told it had to ensure staff observe physical distancing in clinical and non-clinical areas where possible in line with current national guidance.

In the weeks following the inspection two tents appeared outside FVRH.

At the time an NHS Forth Valley spokesperson said: “A number of additional staff facility areas have been created inside and outside Forth Valley Royal Hospital to help staff maintain physical distancing during break times.

“These include a seating area in a coffee shop which is currently closed, partitioned areas off the main atrium and two marquees equipped with heating and lighting which staff can use during their breaks.

“In addition, the restaurant hours have been extended so breaks can be staggered throughout the day and a greater range of take away food and lunches are also available.”

The HIS inspection also found four areas of good practice at FVRH – the person-centred team provides a range of resources to support patients and their relatives and the hospital’s infection control practices support a safe environment for both people experiencing care and staff.

Inspectors also praised the fact staff wore surgical face masks at all times, and were aware of when these should be changed.

Nursing staff also told inspectors they felt they had been very well supported by the infection prevention and control team during the COVID-19 pandemic and they were kept well up to date with developments.

As well as advising staff about physical distancing, the HIS inspectors told FVRH to ensure personal protective equipment – gloves – are worn appropriately by all staff groups to ensure hand hygiene is kept to a high standard.

An HIS spokesperson said: “The inspections consider the factors that contribute to the risk of COVID-19 – or any other infections. We will ensure the care of patients and the environment supports safe and effective care, and is in line with current standards and best practice for COVID-19.

"We check to make sure local systems and policies are in place to effectively manage healthcare associated infections in the hospital and report on the standards

achieved on the day of the inspection and ensure the NHS board produces an action plan to address the areas for improvement identified.

"We also engage with individual members of staff if they do not follow the NHS board policies and procedures, best practice statements or national standards, to

provide assurance on the safety and quality of care.

"We would like to thank NHS Forth Valley and in particular all staff at Forth Valley Royal Hospital, for their assistance during the inspection."

Visit www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org for more information.