Walsall Manor Hospital billed £80k for health and safety breaches!

The cases at Manor Hospital in Walsall involved around either slips, trips and falls or moving and handling incidents.

There was also a large increase in sharps and needle stick injuries including incidents where staff had the danger of becoming contaminated.

Managers at the hospital today insisted they have tried to shift the health and safety culture from being reactive to proactive.

In 2016/17 three claims for slips, trips and falls, were settled for £40,482. But that figure is set to rise ‘significantly’ due to four other claims which have yet to be settled.

An annual health and safety report stated there were 91 incidents in total – a 5.5 per cent reduction on 2015/16.

Six of the cases were reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) due to the injuries suffered.

Nineteen of them occurred due to inside wet floors while four were put down to spillages.

Falls on escalators have also been declared a ‘re-occurring problem’ with eight incidents in the year.

In the same year there were two ‘moving and handling’ claims settled for £42,000 and six incidents referred to the HSE.

The category generally includes back pain and muscular injuries caused by moving equipment, laundry, catering supplies, waste or patients. There were 54 incidents in total in the year – a 25 per cent increase on the previous 12-month period.

The biggest proportion of them were down to patient handling which accounted for 22 cases, followed by inanimate objects resulting in 19 incidents while the remaining 19 were put down as near misses.

There were 101 sharps and needle stick injuries in the year – a 35 per cent increase – including three which were referred to the HSE.

The report said nearly two thirds of incidents, 60 per cent, happened during clinical procedures.

The Manor has now set up a monthly meeting review to monitor these particular cases.

Jill Poole, head of health of safety at Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust who wrote the report, stated ‘robust performance monitoring systems’ were being established while the health and safety policy was being reviewed.

She added: “The health and safety department has made significant progress in developing the health and safety culture within the organisation over the past 12 months, supporting the shift from a reactive to a proactive culture.

“The challenges faced and progress achieved in the delivery of a robust health and safety support service across the trust will be closely monitored and reflected within the divisional/corporate risk registers and reports to the health and safety committee.”