Case 280 - Outpatients not allowed in waiting area without a nurse present


The enquirer visited a hospital fracture clinic and arrived at 8:40 for a 9:00am appointment and was greeted by a sign on the locked entrance stating that "the clinic does not start until 9:00am. Patients will not be able to stay in clinic without a nurse present for health and safety reasons".

Panel decision

Health and safety legislation does not require NHS Trusts to supervise patients in outpatient clinic waiting areas. The panel is pleased to note the Trust recognises this and has already agreed to remove the notice to avoid any further confusion.