Hospital slated over cobwebs, dusty floors and dirty toilets

A SCOTTISH hospital has been told to make improvements in its infection control after inspectors found dusty floors, dirty toilets and other areas of concern.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI), set up to tackle bugs such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, yesterday published its first report since being launched earlier this year by the Scottish Government.

Its visit to Stirling Royal Infirmary led to it making eight requirements and five recommendations for improvements.

Each acute hospital in Scotland will receive at least one announced and one unannounced visit from the inspectorate every three years.

The inspectors visited four wards at the Stirling hospital, as well as the main reception and outpatients department.

The inspectors said their overall perception of cleanliness in the hospital was good in most of the areas they visited – but not in the outpatients departments or in ward six, an acute ward.

The report said: "In the outpatient reception area, the inspection team found evidence of poor cleanliness in all the inspected public toilets with these areas being generally dusty, dirty under the paper towel holder and in the sink areas.

"The carpet within the outpatients department was heavily stained in several public areas."

In ward six, the report said there were several areas of concern: "The floors were dusty particularly in the corner areas, there was no domestic waste bin in the patient toilets, cobwebs were present in a number of high spaces and a dirty toilet seat and bowl were observed."

The inspectors also found that the patient day room was being used to store equipment, while a patient bathroom was being used as a staff toilet.

They said furniture in the day room was "of an unsatisfactory standard and in need of repair".

NHS Forth Valley pointed out that ward six had a good record in reducing infections, with no case of MRSA in 109 days and no hospital-acquired C Diff for 85 days.

HEI chief inspector Susan Brimelow said: "We found evidence of good practice within Stirling Royal Infirmary, but also room for improvement."

In a statement, NHS Forth Valley said: "NHS Forth Valley is committed to reducing healthcare associated infection and has made significant progress in this area in recent years."

Labour health spokeswoman Jackie Baillie MSP said the lessons from C Diff deaths at the Vale of Leven Hospital in West Dunbartonshire have yet to learned.

Ms Baillie, who campaigned on behalf of C Diff Justice Group following the death of 16 patients at the hospital, said: "This report into Stirling Royal Infirmary shows that lessons are still to be taken on board."

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