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Inspectors praise Aberdeen Royal Infirmary staff as “caring, compassionate and responsive”

By David Porter

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Inspectors have praised staff at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary for providing “caring, compassionate and responsive care”.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland visited the NHS Grampian facility for three days in October last year - when inspectors noted the hospital “was experiencing a significant range of pressures including increased hospital admissions”.

ARI faces almost continual admission pressures. Picture: David Porter
ARI faces almost continual admission pressures. Picture: David Porter

Inspectors examined almost 20 wards as well as the the Emergency Department, intensive care unit and the acute medical initial assessment area.

In a report published today HIS highlighted several areas of good practice - as well as some areas where things could be improved.

Inspectors said: “Wards were well managed with clear leadership and effective communication.

"Patients we spoke with described good care and we observed staff treating patients with respect, dignity, and compassion.”

Responding to the findings Dr June Brown, NHS Grampian’s Executive Nurse Director, said she was pleased by the positives identified by HIS and made assurances that work is already under way on those areas requiring improvement.

“I’m delighted that our extremely hard-working staff have been recognised by inspectors as providing “caring, compassionate and responsive care”, since that is what we strive to deliver to the thousands of patients that come through the doors of ARI each year.

“HIS praised the hospital’s ‘open and transparent culture with a good focus on patient care’ and I am grateful their diligence was observed first-hand.

"I want to thank all staff for their continued efforts in looking after the population of the north-east and beyond.

"We have a proven record of working constructively with HIS colleagues and were able to resolve some of the things brought to our attention during their visit. However, we know we’ve more to do and are using the report to direct our focus.

“Where patient care wasn’t as we would have expected, I would take this opportunity to apologise to patients and assure them that we have a comprehensive action plan for improvement.”

Elsewhere the report notes a high vacancy rate in nursing but adds inspectors “observed good innovation recruitment processes,” and that “an education programme to support newly recruited and international nurses is in place”.

In another area of good practice inspectors said: “Staff had good awareness of patients’ dietary requirements and meals were served in a timely manner.”

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