Sheffield hospital in the clear after changing system

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A hospital in Sheffield criticised for ‘not protecting patients from unsafe or unsuitable equipment’ is in the clear after a new inspection found the health watchdog’s concerns had been addressed.

Thornbury Hospital, Ranmoor, was given good marks by the Care Quality Commission after an unannounced visit in February, with inspectors speaking to patients and workers.

A report said patients received a ‘good standard of care’, record-keeping was in order and patients were given food and drink regularly.

But inspectors found medical staff were not disposing of anaesthetic equipment often enough and told the private hospital to take action.

The commission has now visited the hospital again, and found a new procedure has been brought in surrounding the disposal of anaesthetic breathing circuits.

The Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland says the circuits, which carry oxygen and anaesthetic gases, should be changed every day, but staff at the hospital were previously only changing them on a weekly basis.

In their new report, inspectors said: “During our follow-up inspection we found the location had introduced a standard operating procedure.

“This procedure required staff to change anaesthetic breathing circuits daily and to maintain a documented log.

“We checked circuits and logs in four operating theatres and four circuits had been changed as required.”

A spokesman for BMI Healthcare, which runs the hospital, said: “We do believe the process previously employed was safe, and did not expose patients to risks.

“Nevertheless, we now employ the process advocated by the CQC.”