'Serious concerns' raised about 'poor condition' of hospital building

The older part of Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy was found to have 'damaged wooden surfaces, flooring and walls' among other issues.

‘Serious concerns’ raised about ‘poor condition’ of Victoria Hospital building © Google Maps 2024

“Serious concerns” have been raised about the condition of part of a hospital building following an unannounced visit in the summer.

Inspectors from Healthcare Improvement Scotland visited Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy, Fife between Monday, July 31, and Wednesday, August 2, this year.

In a report published on Thursday this week, it was revealed the team found the older part of the building was in a “very poor condition”.

They noted “damaged wooden surfaces, flooring and walls”, with one ward in a particularly bad condition.

A broken pipe in a patient toilet had leaked through a wall and caused holes in the plaster, exposing a service shaft behind.

The inspectors said the toilet had been blocked off but senior managers were not aware of the extent of the disrepair.

As a result of the findings, a follow-up inspection was held on August 14 along with meetings with senior management.

Further concerns were raised relating to the “preventative maintenance system” to ensure the building remains “safe, fit for purpose and includes testing of safety equipment such as fire doors, smoke dampers and ventilation and water safety testing.”

Donna Maclean, chief inspector at Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “During the inspection, we saw that staff were responsive to patients’ needs, and patients and visitors were complimentary about staff and the care they provided.

“Staff told us they felt supported and listened to by senior managers.

“However, we were required to raise serious concerns about the condition of the healthcare environment within the older building of the hospital known as ‘Phase 1’, which was in very poor condition, with one ward significantly worse than other areas.

“We had concerns about the oversight, communication and escalation process in relation to the condition of this environment.

“We informed senior hospital managers of our serious concerns and they responded quickly to assess the risks and took immediate action, including moving inpatients to another ward.”

The inspectors praised the NHS Fife teams’ openness and set an action plan to address their concerns.

Commenting on the report, NHS Fife director of nursing, Janette Keenan, said: “The unannounced inspection of the Victoria Hospital was extensive, with the Healthcare Improvement Scotland team visiting 19 different wards and areas across three days.

“We are pleased that the report of the inspection recognises the efforts of our staff, who in particularly challenging circumstances continue to be responsive to the needs of those in our care.

“Furthermore, we are also pleased that patients and their loved ones were complimentary about the care they received.

“A number of improvement actions were also highlighted in the inspection report and work has already began to address and rectify these areas.”

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