Hospital criticised for cleanliness

A REPORT has criticised cleanliness at a Suffolk hospital after spot checks found clinical waste bins left open and dirty resuscitation equipment.

A REPORT has criticised cleanliness at a Suffolk hospital after spot checks found clinical waste bins left open and dirty resuscitation equipment.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds has failed a hygiene code inspection after some ward areas were found not to be fully cleaned and waste bins left open.

The Healthcare Commission inspection published yesterday found the Bury hospital had breached the hygiene code relating to “maintaining a clean and appropriate environment for healthcare”.

The report reads: “Some ward areas had not been fully cleaned, such as shelves, resuscitation equipment and floors. Yellow (clinical) waste bins had also been left open.”

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The report was critical of the management of the hospital's infection control team and facilities management and could not find enough evidence of the two liaising together.

It also criticised the hospital for not publishing its cleaning schedules although it did find these were in place and regularly reviewed.

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However, the inspectors, who visited the hospital in April, did also conclude that: “We did not indentify any major failings…we saw a number of small deficiencies”.

Gillian Dennis, who blames poor hospital cleanliness for a clostridium difficile infection contracted by her father, Raymond Flack, compiled a diary of his experiences.

And as part of this she photographed open waste bins on the wards, which she handed to the EADT in June.

Speaking in relation to the latest report, Mrs Dennis said she was not surprised the hospital's hygiene management had been found wanting: “They have got communication problems. I am still not happy and if I had my way he wouldn't be there.

“Their report's conclusion about the lack of communication over the hygiene certainly fits in with what I have found.”

Chris Bown, chief executive of West Suffolk Hospital NHS Trust, said: “Whilst the overall findings in the report are positive, we are disappointed that the Healthcare Commission found some areas were not as clean as they should be, particularly as we have received good ratings for our standards of cleanliness from the external assessors this year and during two external inspections carried out by NHS East of England.

“Our staff take great pride in the hospital and in providing the safest possible care to our patients. This is reflected in our excellent infection control record, which shows that the good practices we have put in place are working well and have helped to significantly reduce incidents of hospital-acquired infections.

“Since the inspectors visited in April, we have already taken steps to address the issues they highlighted, by extending the rigorous cleaning schedule in place on our wards and clinical areas to also cover shelving, utility and storage areas. We have also reviewed our waste bin management practice and now make our cleaning rotas available to the public through our website.

“We are confident that these extra measures taken to extend our high standards still further have addressed the recommendations made by the inspectors.”

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