About: Queen Elizabeth Hospital (Birmingham)

I visited the hospital last week (hot clinic, I think that’s what they called it) to sit with a relative so that they wouldn’t be on their own. I was appalled at what I witnessed, I wish I had questioned it at the time and now regret that I didn’t hence my comment but I did not wish to cause any more distress to the relative I was wish. The doctor came and informed us that she could go home but return the following day for another appointment, a nurse would come and remove the cannula while waiting to be discharged. This is what I found appalling, a nurse came into the room wearing gloves with micro-pore stuck to them, they then left the room to get one of those cardboard bowels while still wearing gloves. I presume that these were clean? There are gloves on the wall in the room why did the nurse not use those? The cannula was removed and then placed into the bowel, the nurse placed micro-pore and small dressing to where the cannula had been removed. Then the gloves were removed and placed into the bowel alongside cannula and was disposed of in the clinical waste bin not a sharps container!!

Where in all of this is the due care and attention for the safety and welfare of others, not only the possibility of a sharps injury but also from a cross- infection point, entering a room already wearing gloves we can only presume that they were clean and had not come into contact with anything else. This has not been the first time I have witnessed something to do with the disposal of sharps but on that occasion I did bring it to the attention of someone.

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Response from Queen Elizabeth Hospital

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback about your recent experience when visiting one of our hot clinics with your relative. This is not the usual standard of care we would wish to provide in our outpatients department where all staff should follow the Trust procedures on disposal of sharps.

Our Senior Sisters in outpatients regularly undertake visits to the areas to observe practice and we also have Health and Safety sharps inspections – findings from both of these are fed back to staff to help ensure our standards are kept high. We would like to speak to you directly to establish which clinic your relative was treated in so that we can address the issues you have raised. If you are happy to discuss this with us please make contact via the Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS). PALS can be contacted by phone 0121 371 3280, by email PALS@uhb.nhs.uk, via the hospital website www.uhb.nhs.uk/pals-form or in person by dropping in between 9am – 5pm (Mon-Fri) to the PALS office located near the Information Desk in the main entrance of the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham.

Thank you for bringing this to our attention.

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