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Safeguarding privacy of patients in hospital corridors difficult, says senior Trust director

Daisy Hill hospital Newry

Safeguarding the privacy and dignity of patients sitting or lying in hospital corridors could be difficult, according to a senior Southern Trust director.

Executive director of Nursing, Midwifery, Allied Health Professionals and Support Services, Heather Trouton, acknowledged, at a board meeting, that safeguarding the privacy and dignity of patients sitting/lying in hospital corridors could be difficult.

Ms Trouton made her comments in response to a question from the chair of the Trust board, Eileen Mullan.

Mrs Mullan said: “You referenced earlier patients in acute hospitals. Are there mechanisms in place to monitor their daily care? Are patients getting their requisite care and requisite access to food, showers and all of that? Because there have been some negative press stories about other Trusts.

“Would there be many individuals in that scenario when they are not in a bed and in a designated space, and need looked after?”

The senior Trust director replied: “It varies according to the demands in the system. There could be up to three or four patients in a ward who are not in a designated space at any given point in time.

“Of course they have food, and they are provided with the same level of clinical care. We do everything we can, we provide screens, etc. but it is not the same when you are in a corridor.

“The only answer to this is to deal with the demand and the capacity issues across our health service. We do our best, but from a privacy and dignity perspective it’s not what I want.”

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