Investigation into Kettering General Hospital ward after staff raise concerns

Staff had various concerns about Poplar Ward.
Staff had various concerns about Poplar Ward.

An investigation has taken place into a female-only medical ward at Kettering General Hospital after a number of concerns were raised by staff.

Pressures to discharge unwell patients, inadequate medical cover, the lack of piped oxygen provision and no direct access to drinking water were issues highlighted by worried staff in three separate complaints to the hospital trust about the Poplar Ward between April and September this year.

Nursing and medical staff from the ward also raised concerns about the way they are treated and the staffing level. Two nurses who wished to remain anonymous said they were concerned about retribution from speaking up.

The complaints have been detailed in a report which went before the hospital’s board of directors last week (nov30).

The hospital said it has taken steps following the issues raised under the hospital’s Freedom to Speak Up initiative.

Kettering General Hospital director of nursing and quality Leanne Hackshall said: “Poplar Ward is a medical ward that the trust has recognised is in need of refurbishment and modernisation.

“We met with staff and discussed the points raised through the Freedom to Speak Up process and have taken appropriate action.”

The director of nursing said staff had been supported to resolve concerns and it had been agreed that patients who require ongoing oxygen treatment will not be transferred to the ward.

She said the water and oxygen issues would be addressed when the ward is refurbished next year.

She said: “We have listened carefully to all the concerns raised around pressures of flow through the ward and are working closely with the team to address these.

“We value staff who speak up so we can act to address any concerns and our Freedom to Speak Up reports to board demonstrates our open culture and the actions being taken.”