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Tuesday 25th October 2016

Patient care in cupboards

9th March 2010

A poll of 900 nurses has shown that two thirds said they knew of patients who were treated in cupboards and storage areas because hospital wards were fully occupied.


The Nursing Times survey asked nurses to complete a questionnaire online. The nurses said there were problems involved in treating patients in such areas, including being able to access equipment and a lack of cleanliness.

One nurse who filled in the survey said: "If a patient's condition suddenly deteriorated resulting in them having a cardiac arrest we would not be able to get the crash trolley to them."

The poll showed that some staff had been asked to carry out treatment in wards that were already fully occupied and this had caused the blocking of fire exits.

Janet Davies, of the Royal College of Nursing, said they were "concerned" about the results of the survey.

"As pressures inside the NHS start to rise due to budget cutbacks, it is vital that nurses and other healthcare staff are confident that their concerns over failures in patient care will be heard," she said.

A spokesman for the Department of Health said most patients were given "good quality" care but added that nurses who were concerned should "come forward".

Katherine Murphy, of the Patients Association, said: "This is completely unacceptable. Yet again, this survey highlights the gap between rhetoric and reality in the NHS lottery of care."


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