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Case 33 - Hospital refuses use of microwave on ward on grounds of 'health and safety'

Issue

A granddaughter is trying to make sure her elderly grandmother who is currently hospitalised, eats regular meals. She wants to use the microwave on the hospital ward to heat up home-made food. The hospital has refused on the grounds of 'health and safety'.

Panel decision

There is no health and safety rule which would require the hospital to ban the patient's relatives from using the microwave. This is far more likely to be an issue of setting a precedent which might lead to more widespread use by many patients' families. Hospital staff should state the real reason not simply hide behind 'health and safety'

2012-11-06