Health and Safety at North Middlesex University Hospital

Health and Safety at North Middlesex University Hospital (2017)
Manager: Nigel Zhaware

Introduction
This booklet will help you understand 3 things you should know as a health care practitioner. Firstly, I will be explaining how health and safety legislation is implemented in the health and social care workplace. In this category, we will look at systems, policies and procedures for communicating information on health and safety in the HSC workplace in accordance with legislation. Assessment of responsibilities in a specific health and social care workplace for the management of H&S in relating to organisational structure will be carried out. I will then analyse H&S priorities appropriate for a specific HSC workplace.

Secondly, I will talk about ways which health and safety requirements impact on customers and the work of practitioners in the health and social care workplace. This section will look at information from risk assessment and how it informs care planning and overview the impact of H&S policy on HSC and its customers. Dilemmas encountered in relation to implementing systems and policies for health, safety and security will be assessed as well before analysing the effect of non-compliance with H&S statutory.

Finally, in this booklet, you will understand the monitoring and review of H&S in the HSC workplace. An explanation on how H&S policies and practices are monitored and reviewed will be emphasized. The effectiveness of H&S policies and practices promoting positive, healthy and safe culture is also part of the final bit. I will close by evaluating my own contributions to placing the H&S needs of individuals at the centre of practice.

(a) Systems
This is a review on the system of North Middlesex University Hospital, where I am currently undertaking my placement. It is located in Enfield and has a large compact of space. This hospital is on the side of the North Circular Road, used as an advantage for easy ambulance access in emergencies. There is also a vast amount of parking space surrounding this building. It has over 3,000 staff, a brand new maternity unit led by the award winning midwives and a new neonatal unit and a labour ward. The organisation consists of rooms that contain 450 patients in the wards, 200 women in labour. It is a 3 storey building and in this particular organisation, that have risk assessments on every floor. Fire exits are well-marked and it has fire extinguishers in every room. Top floor windows are sealed and they use ventilation tubes for their oxygen provision. They have sealed windows to prevent accidents as some people in their care are classified as suicidal and by doing this they reduce possible risk.

For my placement, I was placed with a small group that is involved in psychiatry. There is a manager for that department and mostly 8 psychiatrists per shift and one social worker in that group. This group works with other groups as well which include the mental health team, Complex Care Team (CCT), social workers and professional doctors as well. They get referral to certain patients whom they will assess and they use those results to determine which group takes over. They have an online system where they write notes on that patient’s portal as future evidence and medical history. They have a policy that if you don’t have the patient’s medical history you should not attend to them until you know what medication they have been on. They record the information and report back to me.

1.1(b) Policies and procedure:

Some of the Safety sign to be put in the Workplace.

As the employer of an organisation, I should be aware of risks within the workplace and know how to communicate them to my employees, clients and visitors for their health, safety and security. Policy implementation is the manager’s responsibility therefore should be made as effective as possible to avoid serious consequences. Fire alarms have their particular meaning in a workplace which at most times means evacuation of the building. At my current workplace, they do a fire drill 4 times a week just to make sure that the employees get used to the routine. Clients and visitors are mostly the ones who do not have knowledge on how this is done so a number of employees are supposed to help these people out of the building in case of an actual emergency. This procedure is assessed and updated time and again to provide a safe place for users. At North Middlesex smoking is prohibited anywhere within the buildings and 20metres from the Hospital premises.

Below is a diagram that shows the flowchart of how things work at North Mid Hospital. Risk assessments are carried out according to that particular room so that there is minimum risk for clients and employees.

The workplace also has some hygiene chemicals like, sanitizers which are located everywhere in the building to avoid bacteria and future sickness as employees touch a lot of stuff over time. There are other substances that are within the building only meant to be used by professional cleaners, doctors and nurses. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) is an important regulation to these people exposed to harmful chemicals, (HSE.gov.uk).

Flow Chart on the safety planning procedure
Responsibilities:
Every workplace has its different structure, different individual responsibilities and even different working style. As a manager of the workplace, my responsibilities are different from those of an employee. The manager in my current workplace has the responsibility to make sure that the place is safe and secure for the employees, clients and visitors. The manager also checks risk assessments and conduct the funds to ensure the workplace is as safe as possible. The activities to ensure safety measures include the fire drill and regular inspection of the workplace.

Employees also have responsibilities in the safety measures. Their main errand is to obey protocol set by the group leaders otherwise consequences will be faced. For example, when protocol states that workers should not let visitors in wards during lunch hour then the employee brings in the visitor at that time and the guest gets burnt with hot soup for a patient’s lunch. If the visitor was not there then this wouldn’t have happened and this makes the hospital lose money. So the main objective is to reduce risk by following orders and spend less on compensations. Staff should be motivated to follow orders in a workplace. The service users as well should obey signs e.g. no smoking or no entry to unauthorised users signs placed in the building. If they have enquiries they have to consult a carer and get safe information.
At North Mid Hospital, audits are carried out as an activity to get the most accurate information on where boundaries can be set and also assess the place, through the everyday staff. As a manager feedback is important so it is helpful to listen to every concern people have and put an action to it. The final activity at this stage is the reviewing of the audit whereby plans are created and measures are put up to finalise how the workplace is going to be changed. Information is processed from the director of that department and all line managers. The managers take their responsibilities of implementing these procedures accordingly.

Priorities:
North Middlesex Hospital has numerous risk factors which include vulnerable service users; challenging behaviour; security; use of equipment such as hoists; hazardous materials or waste; infection control, (OCR,2013). Vulnerable users in this workplace are priority because the possibly have difficulties doing something and they need help from the worker around. Example being, in emergencies i.e. a fire, sometimes they cannot be off their beds and they have to be out of the building. These people are taken to the ramp exit were people with wheelchairs and on beds go through since they cannot use elevators in this case. I personally think that vulnerable users with difficulty to move around should not be located at the top floor of the building because if the target of evacuation is 5 minutes and you have 150 vulnerable people, this will slow down the mass departure of the people all the way downstairs. However, I appreciate the idea of having the ramp that goes down for people who can’t use stairs and people who are maybe unconscious during an emergency. This also applies to people with challenging behaviours.

Use of equipment such as hoists is to be done by a professional or well-trained carer because the organisation wouldn’t want responsibilities with injured patients because of an unprofessionally done procedure. The security of the building is important as well for protecting employees, visitors and patients. Employees wear special clothing for that particular job that they do which e.g. gloves and safe non-slippery shoes. Visitors are protected by the regulation of the place e.g. a waiting room that has risk assessments everyday so that they are not exposed to hazards and risks. Clients need CCTVs to protect them from going into unauthorised rooms and even from employees who mistreat clients because they are vulnerable and because nobody was watching. The cameras will keep the patient’s record of progress and also make the employees be responsible for their actions towards clients.

Hazardous and waste materials are also a priority to reduce infections to other people. These can be disposed in 3 categories of trash cans. Red bins can be put to symbolize very infective things e.g. used injections, gloves with blood, and broken glass that might have cut someone. Yellow bins can be for thing like gloves used for helping a patient have a bath or any caution marked containers. Green bins can be place for anything that is not harmful like paper and gloves used for moving object etc.

Workers are likewise, a priority. Because of Health and Safety reasons, practitioners should be monitored towards psychological hazards. Some may be working too hard, e.g. picking up a heavy load which leads to back aches and exhaustion. Employees can face challenges with work and life conflict which will lead them to depression which is a serious illness and can cost the organisation money if it develops to chronic depression.

2.1 Care Planning and Decision Making:
A risk assessment is identifying sensible measures to control the risks in your workplace. It is an act of considering the Health and Safety Regulations which supplies a high quality of working in a Healthcare setting.
Information from risk assessments contribute to the care planning of individual’s safety which include the staff, clients, visitors and maintenance groups. Risk assessments carry information on things that have been secured from being a hazard e.g. putting a carpet to avoid slippery floors, which is a good care plan. This does not make the room 100% safe because the carpet however can be slightly ripped and someone could trip on it. This is now how the organisation will now make a decision to implement the policy of regular checks and updates of what they have already put in place to be considered safe. Using my carpet example, the workplace managers can decide on the time frame of changing room carpeting e.g. the flooring has to be done after every two years. They can also make decisions on the durability of the thing they buy to put in place so as to ensure a secure facility. Some equipment in a healthcare setting need to be replaced annually depending on the half-life and shelf life e.g. hoists lights, batteries from torches and anything with serviced date.
At St Ann’s Hospital they have put gradients in the corridors for clients with disabilities and for cleaners. Cleaners have an indoor truck so that they don’t have to carry around all the equipment up and down all day. The organisation must have seen how tiring it can be for workers to move from one end to the other with cleaning equipment. This is a good care plan of individuals and an amazing organisation decision to put both client and employee’s safety first. The new policies are being monitored on different epochs of maybe an inspection at least once a month.
References
Opening Image Available at: http://tcxunite.webs.com/Health_and_Safety.gifnorthmid.nhs.uk , Accessed 20.11.17
OCR Hand-out At: http://www.ocr.org.uk Accessed 21.11.17.

Youtube video: watch video at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=subMgwyJOK8Flowchart Available at: https://www.google.co.uk/url?sa=i;rct=j;q=;esrc=s;source=images;cd=;cad=rja;uact=8;ved=0ahUKEwjK3KPx0tnXAhWDcRQKHT-HAuwQjRwIBw;url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.whatdotheyknow.com%2Frequest%2F21388%2Fresponse%2F56292%2Fattach%2Fhtml%2F4%2FNear%2520miss%2520policy%2520procedure.pdf.html;psig=AOvVaw01vqXlL36TtOceSj7mC0Bx;ust=1511696607264281 Accessed 25.11.17