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Kent hospital ordered to ‘make significant improvements’ after staff fail to follow Covid-19 hygiene rules

A hospital in Kent has been ordered to ‘make significant improvements’ after staff failed to follow Covid-19 regulations.



a sign in front of a building


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Inspectors found that some staff at the William Harvey Hospital, run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, were failing to wash their hands properly after caring for suspected virus patients.

Others seen to wear PPE incorrectly on the Covid-19 ward. Following an inspection by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) on August 11, the watchdog ordered “urgent enforcement action” by requiring that the emergency department was risk-assessed for social distancing and coronavirus risks.

The CQC also found that staff did not always use alcohol hand gel on entering and leaving wards, and at least seven members of staff were seen entering and leaving a ward caring for patients with suspected Covid-19 without washing their hands properly.

The emergency department staff also did not always have access to hand gel or hand washing facilities, with hand sanitiser dispensers remaining empty at both entrances even after the inspectors had raised the issue.

And inspectors found there was an inconsistent approach to triaging patients with Covid-19 symptoms in the emergency department.

Staff did not always wear PPE correctly in the emergency department, including failing to remove it between clinical areas and patient bays, and they did not always use the correct PPE, the inspectors said.

They also highlighted that cleaning schedules were not kept up to date, meaning they were unsure that the wards had been cleaned properly.



a man holding a sign: Urgent action was ordered by the CQC (AFP via Getty Images)


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Urgent action was ordered by the CQC (AFP via Getty Images)

The inspectors said that not all rooms had signs to indicate how many people were permitted to be in that area while being able to socially distance, although managers told inspectors that every room should

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William Harvey Hospital in Kent is ordered to make ‘significant improvements’ Covid-19 rules fail

William Harvey Hospital in Kent is ordered to make ‘significant improvements’ after nurses were found failing to follow Covid-19 rules

  • Care Quality Commission found nurse on Covid ward wore a mask incorrectly
  • Staff failed to use hand sanitiser going in and out of some hospital wards
  • Social distancing room regulations were also unclear in the medical centre 

A hospital has been ordered to make ‘significant improvements’ after ward and emergency department staff – including a nurse on a Covid ward – were found failing to comply with pandemic rules.

The William Harvey Hospital, run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust, was given a health check by the Care Quality Commission on August 11.

But dismayed inspectors have now ordered ‘urgent enforcement action’ and the emergency department to be risk-assessed for social distancing and coronavirus risks.

They found that staff did not always wear personal protective equipment correctly in medical wards as well as on the Covid-19 ward.

One member of the nursing team also seen incorrectly wearing a mask on a ward which had seen an outbreak of the disease.

William Harvey Hospital which is run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation

William Harvey Hospital which is run by East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation

They also found that staff did not always use alcohol hand gel on entering and leaving wards and at least seven members of staff were seen entering and leaving a ward caring for patients with suspected Covid-19 without washing their hands properly.

The emergency department staff also did not always have access to hand gel or hand washing facilities, with hand sanitiser dispensers remaining empty at both entrances even after the inspectors had raised the issue.

And inspectors found there was an inconsistent approach to triaging patients

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