Glasgow hospital ‘boarding’ elderly patients

Concerns over the boarding of elderly patients at Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow have been raised by inspectors. Picture: TSPL

Concerns over the boarding of elderly patients at Victoria Infirmary in Glasgow have been raised by inspectors. Picture: TSPL


INSPECTORS have raised serious concerns about the care of elderly patients at a Scottish hospital.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) found that patients were being moved between wards, and even between hospitals, due to a shortage of beds at Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary.

They also ordered immediate improvements at the hospital’s Mansionhouse Unit after inspectors expressed concerns about the way patients were being treated.

The report found evidence of patients being “boarded” to other wards - meaning they were moved to free up beds rather than for their own clinical needs.

They were told 162 patients were boarded in the month before their inspection. The inspectors said there did not appear to be an effective system to prevent patients being boarded in the hospital.

“During the inspection, one ward we inspected had at least 12 patients boarded out to other wards in the previous day,” their report said. In the Mansionhouse Unit, the inspectors saw several examples where they were concerned that staff were not treating patients with dignity and respect.

In one case a member of staff was seen pulling a patient to the toilet in a chair from the sitting room, without realising their feet were dragging on the floor.

Jacqui Macrae, head of quality of care at HIS, said: “During inspection, we were particularly concerned about patient flow and capacity within the hospital.

“We found no effective system in place to prevent patients being boarded and saw evidence of patients being moved to wards and other NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde hospitals because of bed availability rather than patient need.”

Concerns about the Mansionhouse Ward were reported to management and a follow-up inspection found improvements had been made.

Rosslyn Crocket, the board’s director of nursing, said: “I am very disappointed at some of the findings highlighted by this report.

“In response we have instigated a disciplinary investigation against one member of staff and changed local senior nursing arrangements where necessary.”


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