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Friday, 22 March, 2002, 02:20 GMT
Hospital patients 'had no dignity'
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals Trust
The hospitals got no stars in a government review
Emergency patients at a north London hospital lost their "dignity, privacy or confidentiality", a health watchdog said.

The accident and emergency department at Chase Farm Hospital was "slow" according to the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI).

The CHI was also "disturbed" to find racist graffiti in the hospital's staff toilets.

An outside troubleshooter has now been called in to manage Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust which has put in an action plan to address issues in the report.

Trolley waits

Patients on trolleys in the casualty department at Chase Farm Hospital in Enfield sometimes had to wait in "unsuitable areas", the report stated.

The relatively slow treatment of emergency patients led to a situation where it was not possible for patients to "maintain their dignity, privacy or confidentiality".

The watchdog also found emergency patients who were not able to be cared for in cubicles owing to lack of space.

This left up to 10 patients on trolleys with no privacy.

The trust also needed to review and strengthen accountability, it said.

'Loyal staff'

Barnet and Chase Farm is one of five trusts to have its management put into the hands of an outside troubleshooter.

It is one of 12 nationwide to be awarded zero stars in the government's performance ratings.

However, the report added the loyalty and enthusiasm of the trust's staff and their commitment to patients was clear.

It also highlighted hard work to retain its existing employees and to offer them educational opportunities.

Action plan

Peter Homa, CHI chief executive, said: "Barnet & Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust has shown good practice and commitment around staff management and education.

"But other areas of work need to be improved, developed and accounted for.

"The trust has produced an action plan in response to our report.

"It is through successful implementation of the focused action plan that the quality of patient care will improve."

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11 Feb 02 | Health
Barnet and Chase Farm NHS Trust
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