Case ref: 202200314
NHS organisation: Dumfries and Galloway NHS Board
Subject: Hospitals/staffing levels
Date: April 2023
C complained to the INWO that there was a risk to staff and patients resulting from the staffing arrangements in the cleaning teams in the hospital where they worked. They complained that staffing levels could have been a contributory factor in an outbreak of COVID-19 in one of the wards. C also complained about the evidence considered during the Board's investigation into the concerns raised. The Board did not uphold C's complaint.
We considered the information provided by the Board including their complaint investigation file, cleaning schedules, records of their response to the COVID-19 outbreak and relevant guidance. We found the Board's complaint response to be reasonable. We noted discrepancies in the cleaning schedules but saw evidence that frequent cleaning was taking place and being recorded. Our view was that the risk of the cleaning arrangements contributing significantly to the outbreak of COVID-19 was low.
Although further investigation into the cleaning schedules would have been possible, we did not consider it to be proportionate, as there would be limited benefit to the wider public or the complainant.
Our decision in this case was to discontinue the investigation. We did, however, provide feedback to the Board about record keeping. We also reflected on our engagement with the board and encouraged them to contact us at the earliest opportunity to discuss any hesitations about sharing sensitive information.