Staff shortages at an Aberdeen psychiatric hospital have been holding back and delaying care, an inspection has found.
A report published about Royal Cornhill Hospital highlighted concerns there were too few nurses to maintain the highest levels of patient care.
Inspectors were particularly worried that staff were so tied-up dealing with the clinical needs of dementia patients, it adversely affected care to other patients.
The report, written by the Mental Welfare Commission, recommended that “Managers should ensure that, where there are staffing shortages, appropriate action is taken to prevent this impacting on patient care”.
One patient interviewed confirmed that the staff shortages meant she sometimes had to wait longer for assistance with personal care.
There were also bedding issues on some of the wards, while dementia sufferers and those who had functional illnesses often shared dormitories.
This led to some incidents where patients became frustrated and sometimes distressed when they were approached repeatedly by fellow patients.
Managers were told in the report to ensure that “where there are patients with dementia and those with no cognitive impairment in the same ward, a protocol is in place to assess the suitability of patients to share a dormitory”.
Despite the difficulties, staff at the hospital were praised by those they cared for.
The reported noted that patients found them to be “kind, supportive and approachable”.