Swindon hospital has staff shortages and cleanliness issues, inspectors say

  • 18 December 2013
  • From the section Wiltshire

Concerns over staff shortages and cleanliness have been highlighted in a Care Quality Commission (CQC) report at Swindon's Great Western Hospital.

The CQC visited in October and found there were not enough staff to guarantee safe patient care.

The watchdog also found dirty toilets and wards, which one inspector described as "absolutely disgusting".

The hospital said it was trying to recruit more nurses and cleanliness problems were being addressed.

The report noted that despite the shortfall in staff, patients treated with dignity and compassion and the majority of care was up to standard.


Chief nurse Hilary Walker said the hospital expected the staffing issue to be identified by the CQC and said it reflected a nationwide problem in that not enough new nurses were being trained.

She said the hospital had "a big plan" in place to look overseas for nursing staff and would continue to "work hard" with universities to attract nurses training in the UK.

Regarding cleanliness at the hospital, the CQC inspectors noted tissues left on the floor, a lack of hand sanitizer gel, and found some of the wards smelt of urine.

Ms Walker said better communication between cleaners and nursing staff was needed.

She said it was a "disappointment" and "embarrassing" that CQC inspectors found dirty wards and toilets, and said "we want to make sure that never happens again".

The CQC has given the hospital until 24 December to come up with an action plan detailing what improvements will be made and what has been done already.

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