Hospital hygiene standards criticised

By John HowardA MEMBER of a patient user group has spoken of her dismay at hygiene standards at the hospital where a 36-hour-old baby died of MRSA.Gita Banerji's comments came after thousands of people backed the East Anglian Daily Times' campaign to Stamp Out MRSA in the region's hospitals.

By John Howard

A MEMBER of a patient user group has spoken of her dismay at hygiene standards at the hospital where a 36-hour-old baby died of MRSA.

Gita Banerji's comments came after thousands of people backed the East Anglian Daily Times' campaign to Stamp Out MRSA in the region's hospitals.

The campaign was launched after Luke Day, from Woodbridge, died at Ipswich Hospital of the MRSA superbug when he was just 36 hours old.


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Ms Banerji, from Ipswich, said: “As a member of one of Ipswich Hospital's patient user groups, I was dismayed by my experience of the hospital recently in terms of MRSA.

“I had understood from various forums that I have attended that better standards of hygiene were in practice, but it did not appear that they were being enforced.

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“Recently an older member of my family, my stepfather, was in the acute medical unit of Ipswich Hospital in the Brantham Ward with pneumonia.

“The acute medical unit obviously houses patients with serious illnesses, whose immunity has therefore been lowered and who are therefore prone to the MRSA superbug.”

She added: “On approaching the unit there were signs suspended from the ceiling that said all hands must be washed before entering the ward, but there were no dispensers or bathrooms in the corridor, so no facility to wash your hands.

“So both visitors and the staff themselves just walked in and out regardless. Over a period of several days I didn't see one person even look at the sign and no-one asked us if we had washed our hands.

“It is no use saying these things need to be done if they are not enforced and if provision is not made for the realistic carrying out of these requirements.”

Gwen Collins, director of nursing at Ipswich Hospital Trust, said it had hand gel dispensers in all wards and clinical areas throughout the hospital, including the acute medical unit.

“We thank Ms Banerji for highlighting her concerns and are taking action to see if there is more that we can do to highlight the exact location of the hand gel dispensers to all visitors in this area,” she added.

“They are currently based at the entrance to the acute medical unit and there are further gel dispensers immediately outside the acute assessment unit. The importance of hand washing for all staff within the hospital is constantly re-enforced.”

john.howard@eadt.co.uk

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