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Inadequate hygiene standards in Edinburgh hospital

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A recent inspection at an Edinburgh hospital labour ward found hygiene standards to be highly inadequate. The team from the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate made worrying findings, including contaminated hospital cots and dirty equipment. NHS Lothian has been told to make immediate improvements.

The inspection was carried out unannounced at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in April. Despite NHS Lothian stating that 67 out of 70 patients were pleased with the cleanliness of the ward, inspectors found that a number of the cots and equipment were contaminated with blood, and hand hygiene was not of an acceptable standard.

Three of the six cot mattresses were contaminated

The report noted that eight of the twenty-nine mattresses checked were contaminated, and three of the six cot mattresses checked were contaminated. It was also noted that in the labour ward, the patient bed frames, mattresses, stirrups and birthing balls were also contaminated with blood.

The report did, however, note that hand hygiene in the hospital was “generally good”, but had to be improved on amongst the emergency staff. The report stated that emergency staff missed 18 of the 22 opportunities to carry out hand hygiene procedures. Melanie Johnson, nurse director at NHS Lothian, said:

“We recognise there are things that can be improved, and they have been addressed as a matter of urgency, including the cleaning of patient equipment and ensuring that hand hygiene is improved by all staff in the emergency department.”

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