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Haringey patients in danger

PUBLISHED: 14:37 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:05 07 September 2010

Robyn Rosen HOSPITALS in Haringey are potentially putting patients in danger, following a damning report exposing dusty and dirty wards. A recent inspection of six wards at St Ann s Hospital, part of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust,

Robyn Rosen

HOSPITALS in Haringey are potentially putting patients in danger, following a damning report exposing "dusty" and "dirty" wards.

A recent inspection of six wards at St Ann's Hospital, part of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust, found:

o High and low level dust throughout some wards and corridors

o Waste bags in corridors and on floors

o Water damage to walls and ceilings

o Dirty equipment trolleys

o Untidy linen rooms, including some linen on the floor

o Some damaged, dirty or missing curtains

o Some dirty or blocked baths/showers and toilet

The Mental Health Trust is among eight trusts which failed to achieve required infection control standards on repeated occasions, the new Care Quality Commission (CQC) announced last week.

The CQC now has the powers to fine, prosecute and even force closure if the trust does not get its act together soon.

Christine Braithwaite, head of investigations and enforcement at the CQC, said: "It is vital that Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health Trust acts urgently to improve the hygiene practices within its services.

"All patients must be cared for in clean and well maintained environments, provided by services that have the necessary systems in place to deal with infection prevention and control."

The trust was also criticised for a lack of communication in reporting and resolving the hygiene issues and for not reporting fully to the CQC about their infection prevention systems. On April 1, it became a legal requirement for all 388 NHS trusts to register with the CQC but to do so, they must meet government regulations.

Barnet, Haringey and Enfield Mental Health Trust will only be allowed to register if it improves cleanliness on the wards by May 1 and identifies the systematic issues which led to the poor conditions by June 1.

Ms Braithwaite added: "We will check that the trust has made the necessary improvements to its services within the required deadline.

"If they have not, we will not hesitate to use the new enforcement powers that are available to us."

But Maria Kane, chief executive at the mental health Trust, said that the trust has already put a system in place to address the issues.

"The trust board have formally considered and taken note of the observations made buy the Care Quality Commission in its report and the conditions associated with our registration," she said.

"We have developed an immediate action plan which we are now implementing to fully address all the concerns as quickly as possible."

Lynne Featherstone, MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, said: "If I or my loved ones had to be admitted to St Ann's - I would be outraged to find that Haringey Mental Health Trust couldn't even keep the wards clean.

"How on earth are people going to recover - when their conditions are so dirty and depressing?

"This is very worrying and must put into doubt the Trust's plans for Foundation Status. They clearly have to learn to walk before they can run.


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