Capital Event Cardiff 2011

Matthew Hamar the Health and Social Care Unit spoke on the latest news and updates from the HSE including a lively discussion with delegates on section 51.

He covered the main points which concerned the review of guidance – updated with key risk topics – further pages to be added on Work equipment, Leadership, domiciliary care to the website and sign up to e-bulletin.

He covered RIDDOR reporting the sections on employees and patient / care service user injuries and gave examples of what is reportable and what may not be considered to be ‘arising out of or in connection with a work activity.
He thanked those members of NASHiCS who submitted comments on the new guidance getting to grips with hoisting.

He stated that the HSE was finalising new guidance on LOLER and its application to Health and Social Care(H&SC) It Helps to clarify how it applies to equipment, e.g. equipment purchased by the individual, etc.
The Application of LOLER in residential care homes (slings). On recent checks found that in 38 homes visited – 54% were either non-compliant or only partially compliant with LOLER.

He quoted a recent case in a Nursing home when an 81-year-old Liverpool woman fell to the ground when she was being transferred from her bed to her wheelchair. The sling failed. No regular or LOLER 6 monthly checks were being carried out.

He raised other concerns covering falls from windows and stated that there had been numerous incidents involving inadequate window restrictors / failures. Concerns with failures of some side stay restrictors – couple of fatalities in H&SC in last few weeks.
Scalding continues to be a major issue in some care settings – double scalding prosecution at two hostels in Birmingham area.

He informed delegates of the work undertaken by HSL on Safety flooring and cleaning research.
There have been concerns that safety flooring makes it harder to hygienically clean floors and, for this reason, they tend to only be used in wet areas at many healthcare premises.
HSL looked at this and concluded that safety floors could be hygienically cleaned using appropriate techniques etc.
Use of safety flooring gives better slip resistance in wet conditions and would significantly reduce the slip hazard. The research has provided evidence that hygiene should not be used as an excuse for not providing appropriate flooring where needed.

Matthew covered duties on commissioners (such as LA’s) under HSWA to set clear contracts and to monitor them  and to ensure compliance with relevant statutory provisions SFARP.
This is a matter that the HSE board has an interest in and an intervention strategy will be explored further in the context of H&SC.
HSE approach to commissioning will reflect that the primary duty rests with the provider, not the commissioner but a sensible proportionate approach to monitoring of standards will be required.
HSE is aware that several commissioners may procure services and that we must not place disproportionate burdens on the provider.