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Thursday, 17 August 2017

Inspectors brand mental health ward in Glasgow as 'dated, neglected and dismal'

Written by The Press Association

An acute ward at a Glasgow mental health hospital presented a "much neglected and dismal environment" for patients to be cared in, according to a report.

The Mental Welfare Commission for Scotland found there were "dated" bedroom areas, unclean windows, tired paintwork and "unkempt" curtains during a visit to Ward 1 in Parkhead Hospital earlier this year.

Its report also spoke of a broken lift to the ward on the day of the visit and said there was little opportunity for privacy in the bedrooms.

While the report acknowledged the service is to be moved to a refurbished ward at another campus next year, the commission called for an urgent environment audit at the facility "to ensure that it is fit for purpose".

Commission practitioners carried out an unannounced visit to the 20-bed adult ward at the Salamanca Street hospital in the east end of the city on May 24.

Described as a mixed sex ward, it has six single rooms with en-suite facilities and three bay areas containing a total of 14 beds.

Setting out their findings, the report authors said: "We appreciate that the service plans to move in February 2018.

"However, we observed on the day that the environment within the ward was stark and all the paintwork needed to be refreshed.

"One of the toilet and shower rooms in the bay bedroom was marked with cigarette burns on the flooring.

"The bay bedrooms look dated in comparison with accommodation available in newer acute psychiatry wards.

"The bedrooms had minimal opportunity for privacy, with each area divided by paper curtains. There was no provision for secure storage facilities in the bed areas.

"The ward windows were difficult to see through due to colouration in glass and were also in need of cleaning. The curtains were unkempt and hanging off the rails.

"On the day of our visit we were informed that one of the lifts to the ward was broken.

"This presents as a much neglected and dismal environment for patients to be cared within."

The commission set out six recommendations for hospital and ward managers, including that they "should audit the environment as a matter of urgency to ensure that it is fit for purpose".

The report did, however, note that all interactions between staff and patients were friendly and supportive.

It stated: "We heard positive comments about staff from some patients we met. Staff were knowledgeable about the patients when we discussed their care."

Practitioners also highlighted good attention to patients' physical health care needs, including full examinations on admission to the ward and routine physical health monitoring.

A spokeswoman for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde said: "We are pleased to note the positive comments around the care provision at Parkhead Hospital but recognise the limitations and challenges with the environment in the mental health wards at Parkhead Hospital.

"As part of an overall redesign programme we plan to provide adult mental health acute care in a new fit for purpose ward on the Stobhill site by September 2019.

"However, in the short term our plan is to transfer the two wards to improved refurbished accommodation on the Stobhill site."

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