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Inspectors concerned about hospital standards

Posted in: Employer Negligence Medical Negligence 

Inspectors have raised concerns following a recent inspection of Ninewells Hospital in Dundee. The hospital had been provided with a set of nine requirements to address following an unannounced Healthcare Environment Inspectorate visit earlier in the year. However, a recent inspection found that some of these areas are still being neglected by the hospital.

The NHS Tayside facility has been informed that they must have addressed all nine areas within one month. An action plan has been drawn up to ensure that this is carried out, with areas for improvement including cleaning, handwashing procedures and the storage of breast milk. 

The hospital inspection, which took place on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 March, looked at all areas of the hospital, carrying out patient interviews and distributing questionnaires to further their insight.

“A major risk to staff”

While the inspectors commended the hospital’s infection prevention and control standards, there were still many failings with regards to ward cleanliness. The inspectors found contaminants including blood, faeces and dust, with many of the bins being externally contaminated with blood and frequently overflowing. This has been highlighted as a major risk to staff.

The Healthcare Inspectorate also found that many of the staff frequently wore their scrubs outwith the treatment areas — a contributing factor towards the spread of infection. The team also found “significant levels” of dust on the surfaces in the neonatal department, suggesting that cleaning procedures are not of a high enough standard. HEI chief inspector Susan Brimelow said:

“This inspection resulted in nine requirements which NHS Tayside must address as a matter of priority. We will follow up these concerns at future inspections.”

The health board has drawn up an action plan to meet the targets within one month, with progress already well underway.

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