‘Our patients always come first’

2014-02-16 14:00

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Nobody was more excited about a health department audit than the Witrand Psychiatric Hospital’s cleaning staff.

The cleaners at the hospital – which scored the highest marks in the country for the National Health Care Facilities baseline audit – knew exactly what they had to do.

Their hospital in Potchefstroom had already won a competition for the cleanest one in North West, as well as the award for the country’s most spotless in 2011.

The audit, conducted between May 2011 and May 2012, was designed to test health facilities’ readiness for the National Health Insurance scheme, and 3?880 clinics and hospitals were inspected around the country.

Inspectors visited Witrand towards the end of 2011 and gave the hospital 100% for cleanliness, 99% for infection control, 97% for patient safety, 95% for staff attitude, 92% for drug stocks and 82% for waiting times.

It was the only hospital out of 394 across South Africa that did well in all six standards.


On Thursday, the hospital’s CEO, Naledi Mocwaledi-Senyane, said that although she knew they would do well, she didn’t think they would be the only ones to comply with all the health department’s standards.

“When I was informed about the outcome of the audit, I was happy, surprised and nervous at the same time because it meant that we had set a record and that record had to be maintained,” she said.

Mocwaledi-Senyane says the inspectors could come again and find her hospital in the same condition. She also refuses to take all the credit.

“We are a big team that always strives to do our best. Our motto is that we do not compromise on anything and that our patients always come first,” she said.

Agisanang Tlou, the hospital’s deputy director of corporate services, said: “At ­Witrand we pull together no matter what. When we identify a challenge, we deal with it immediately to avoid things getting out of control. The fact that we have great leadership also motivates us to go the extra mile.”

Hospital managers often stay inside their offices, but not at Witrand.

“We know that every Wednesday our CEO walks around the corridors and the wards, ensuring that patients are cared for and staff are happy. This gives us a feeling that she genuinely cares not only about the people working under her, but for those that come to her facility seeking medical attention,” Tlou said.

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