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Hospital’s standards fall short

The Royal Hobart Hospital.
The Royal Hobart Hospital.

THE Royal Hobart Hospital has failed to meet some standards that lead to national accreditation by the Australian Council of Healthcare Standards (ACHS), the Mercury has been told.

Hospital management was due to be delivered the final report by ACHS on Friday night.

AHCS chief executive Dr Christine Dennis confirmed there were concerns raised by the team, which finished its survey on Friday.

“I am aware of the fact that there are issues, but I won’t know more until there is clarification,’’ she said.

A hospital spokesman said the accreditation process at the RHH had not concluded.

The ACHS report is expected to be ­released on Monday.

Dr Dennis said the existing hospital accreditation expires in February 2016 and management would have between now and then to respond to the recommendations made by the ACHS, she said.

“The survey team will return in February and if they still haven’t met them then their accreditation will be removed,” she said.

If accreditation was removed, the matter would be forwarded to the State Government for resolution.

It could impact on a wide range of areas, from recruitment to staff training.

Fallout is already being felt throughout the hospital, with a strongly worded directive from acting director of services Craig Watson demanding all nurse managers ensure staff complete patient assessment forms within 36 hours of admitting a patient.

Mr Watson said “a significant number” of nursing staff were not complying with the patient assessment tool that was put in place to ensure patients were assessed properly and to minimise risk.

The Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation was briefed by management on the report yesterday.

Tasmania branch secretary Neroli Ellis said “enormous pressures” on the hospital would be revealed in the report.

“It is clear that these pressures have an impact on the ability to meet the required standards,’’ she said.

Health and Community Services Union Tasmania state secretary Tim Jacobson said the union had “enormous doubts” about the hospital passing accreditation standards.