Glasgow hospital chiefs given one month to clean up their act


Inspection reveals dirty commodes, stained mattresses, contaminated patient hoists and dirty weight scales on elderly care ward at Victoria Infirmary

Managers at Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary have been told to improve cleanliness and infection control measures after an inspection revealed dirty equipment on a ward for the elderly.

The problems were uncovered in the hospital's elderly assessment ward South 2 during an unannounced visit by inspectors from the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) and included ‘contaminated and dusty’ patient hoists, a dirty weighing scale, a bin with protruding sharp implements, dirty commodes, and stained mattresses.

As a result NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde health board has been given a month to meet six ‘high priority’ requirements aimed at addressing the problems.

"During the inspection, we found that over a period of time, there were recurring issues on ward South 2 with cleanliness of patient equipment, sharps and waste management," the report said.

We have received the inspector's report and are extremely disappointed and concerned that some areas fell short of the standards expected in all our hospitals

"We were not assured that a managed environment could be consistently demonstrated to minimise the risk of infection and maintain necessary improvements identified through environmental audits and other audit tools.

"We observed poor compliance in some standard infection control precautions, in particular sharps management in ward 17 and ward South 2, for example a sharps bin in a clinical preparation area with protruding sharps and temporary closure mechanisms not used on sharps bins."

Inspectors checked 17 commodes throughout the hospital and found eight to be unclean, the report said.

Susan Brimelow, the HEI's chief inspector, said: "We have identified six high-priority requirements that we expect NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to address within the month.

"These include a requirement that staff follow the correct procedure for cleaning patient equipment, which we also identified as a requirement in our two previous inspections of the hospital.

"We will return to ensure action has been taken to improve standards of infection control, cleanliness and hygiene for patients using the Victoria Infirmary."

The health board said it was ‘extremely disappointed and concerned’ by the findings.

Director of nursing, Rory Farrelly, said: "We have received the inspector's report and are extremely disappointed and concerned that some areas fell short of the standards expected in all our hospitals.

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"Clearly we need to reinforce some of our policies with both clinical and facility teams. We have already taken steps to ensure that patient equipment is clean and ready for use, and have addressed the issues raised in connection with ward South 2. We have also put in place a comprehensive action plan to ensure the other requirements and one recommendation highlighted in the report are addressed."