HEALTH: Open, honest and transparent approach to decision making helps mitigate risks

By Lucy Ashton

A  Healthcare Improvement Scotland report into the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, which serves West Dunbartonshire and Argyll, has revealed high patient satisfaction and praise for staff amid COVID pressures

Following an unannounced inspection of the QEUH, a new report from Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS) has highlighted the strength and commitment of frontline staff in responding to pressures and supporting patients.

The inspection, which took place in March, occurred at a time when the hospital had the highest number of COVID-19 patients in Scotland. This, coupled with high pandemic related staff absence, significant demand on A&E and bed capacity created an extremely challenging environment for staff. Despite this, the report found overall patient satisfaction remained high during this time, with the majority of patients describing their care as ‘very good’, with high admiration for staff.

The report also cited strong and visible leadership throughout the hospital which helped support the delivery of safe, patient centred care. Clear communication with an open, honest and transparent approach to decision making ensured real-time staffing decisions could be made to help mitigate risks wherever possible. 

The report also found the hospital continued to adhere to COVID-19 rules ensuring appropriate social distancing and mask wearing continued where ever possible.

Jane Grant, Chief Executive for NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, right, said: “Despite unprecedented pressure across the service at a time where staff were looking after around 700 COVID-19 patients in the QEUH* alone, staff continued to show the utmost professionalism and compassion in treating patients, while also working exceptionally well with each other to make very tough decisions on an hourly basis.

“The challenges posed by COVID during that period cannot be understated and it’s thanks to all staff at the QEUH that we’ve been able to successfully weather the storm and continue to deliver high-quality care to patients.

“However, while the report highlights these positives in the context of the wider pressures caused by COVID-19, we accept that there were also some improvements which could be made in some areas of the hospital. As such, we can confirm we have now acted upon all of these, with improvements either complete or with an ongoing monitoring plan in place.”

The full HIS report is available to view here.


*Diagnosis of 28 days or less

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