Goldilocks, the private sector firm that won the government contract to run inspection services, has published a damning report. It states two-thirds of hospital beds are either too hard or too soft, and that the majority of food served to patients is not of an acceptable temperature.
‘The Goldilocks assessments are subjective and based around a tick box process that fails to recognise the diversity of patients’
The inspectors also expressed concern about faulty and dangerous equipment putting patients at risk.
The report details a number of incidents where inspectors tried out equipment, only to find it was ill fitting and uncomfortable. On one occasion, the equipment collapsed and the inspector was fortunate to escape without injury.
Failure of understanding
The chief executives of the hospitals inspected have sent a joint letter to the health minister complaining that inspectors turned up without prior warning, entered while senior managers were not on the premises and failed to understand how a modern hospital works.
The chief executives point out that they have 100 per cent patient satisfaction rates because they recognise one size does not fit all. They complain that the Goldilocks assessments are subjective and based around a tick box process that fails to recognise the diversity of patients.
They dismissed criticisms about health and safety standards, saying inspectors were at fault for misusing the equipment.
The chief executives also question how a hospital can be found to be “inadequate and failing to provide a safe environment for patients” when only 12 months ago the same staff, managers and board were described by Goldilocks as “outstanding”.