AN inquiry has been launched over allegations of abuse at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
Patients being cared for in the medical assessment unit — the next stop after A&E — suffered abusive comments from staff and inappropriate use of foul language, according to an anonymous whistleblower.
Bosses at the Bolton NHS Foundation Trust, which runs the Royal Bolton Hospital, have denied any truth in the claims but have still launched an investigation.
According to the whistleblower, staff in the emergency care area “behaved inconsistently on a daily basis, made inappropriate comments about vulnerable patients and used foul language inappropriately in front of patients”.
The alleged misconduct, which has also been reported to national health watchdogs, is alleged to have been happening “for some time”, but was not flagged up to senior management until last week.
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) says it will not be launching an external investigation and is satisfied with the action taken by the trust.
A spokesman for the Bolton trust said: “Allegations of this type were brought to our attention early last week and an internal review was started.
“The CQC was contacted by the trust at that time and we have offered to share our findings with them once the review is complete.
“The person who made the allegations has since contacted the CQC themselves. At the moment the allegations are all unsubstantiated.”
A CQC spokesman added: “I can confirm that these allegations have been reported to CQC. At present, CQC is not taking regulatory action against Bolton NHS Foundation Trust as our inspection team is satisfied that the trust is taking appropriate action in line with its internal processes.
“If we ever believe that patients or other service users are at risk of harm, we will not hesitate to follow up with the provider and inspect where necessary, to ensure their safety is protected.”
Cllr Andy Morgan, who sits on the health scrutiny committee at Bolton Council, said the dignity of patients in hospital care should always be paramount.
He added: “The dignity and privacy of any patient in hospital care should always be embedded in the mind of any member of staff.
“I am sure a full investigation will be carried out by the trust to make sure the right procedures and policies are in place.”