Hospital defends cleanliness

HEALTH bosses last night defended the cleanliness of the A&E department at Suffolk's biggest hospital after a volunteer worker told the EADT it was “filthy."

HEALTH bosses last night defended the cleanliness of the A&E department at Suffolk's biggest hospital after a volunteer worker told the EADT it was “filthy.”

Nick Whight, who sits on the Ipswich Hospital A&E user group and volunteers in the department twice a week, said he feared that patients are at risk of infections unless hygiene is tightened up.

But last night a spokeswoman for the hospital said that cleaning time had been increased - although she conceded the issue had been “a concern” for the trust.

Mr Whight said: “I think speaking out is the only way that things are going to get better. The A&E is

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“There's always an issue with cleaning in A&E - it's never been done properly and it seems they only clean what they want to clean, like the floors.

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“There used to be a cleaner in there eight hours a day but now it's really only three hours a day. I've brought it up at several user group meetings because it's definitely gone down the pan.”

Mr Whight added: “The cleaners don't seem to do any high dusting and I'm told it's because of health and safety.

“We have TV's in the department and they are absolutely filthy - absolutely layered in dust. Then the other day we had a guy in A&E who leant on one of the vending machines, put his hand on top of it and it was covered with horrible, thick black dust.

“There's a water machine in there which is also filthy - I would never drink out of it. And there are cobwebs all over the ceiling and dust on the curtain rails.

“There's even sometimes blood on the floors and if nobody comes round to clean it then it just lies there.

“There must be loads of germs knocking around there. If you get somebody who has an open wound, which obviously quite often happens in A&E, are they going to get infected? I would say yes.

“They don't seem to be bothered about A&E - but surely it should be one of the most important places to clean? Something needs to be done about it.”

Responding to Mr Whight's concerns, the hospital spokeswoman stressed that his views were one person's perspective on the situation.

She added: “Cleaning in A&E has been a source of concern to the Trust, although it has never dropped below 8 hours.

“In response to those concerns a decision was taken to increase the level of cleaning to 13 hours since early February.

“It's a particularly busy part of the hospital with literally hundreds of people coming in every single day, but we have increased the amount of cleaning and it is scrupulously monitored.

“Because of the nature of the environment it's possible that there could be spillages of blood but it's cleaned as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.”

She continued: “I would urge Mr Whight to share his concerns with his colleagues in the hospital so we can address them - if there's anything wrong we would take action immediately.”

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