Rusty equipment found in Glasgow hospital’s birthing room

Princess Royal Maternity Hospital. Picture: John Devlin
Princess Royal Maternity Hospital. Picture: John Devlin
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Inspectors at a maternity hospital found rusty and damaged equipment in an emergency birthing room and stained mattresses in incubators, a report has revealed.

Staff from the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) watchdog held an unannounced inspection of the Princess Royal Maternity Hospital in Glasgow in October.

The inspectors discovered an emergency birthing room was being used to store equipment, was dusty and the birthing bed frame and stirrups were “rusty” while a mattress cover in equipment used to resuscitate newborns was “damaged”.

They also found some incubator mattresses were stained and expressed breast milk had to be binned or pasteurised after some freezers were too warm.

Concerns were first raised about breast milk storage at the hospital in 2014.

The inspectors ordered the health board to take action in six areas, including safe storage of breast milk, ensuring the emergency birthing room and equipment is clean and that equipment in all clinical areas is able to be decontaminated.

The watchdog said improvements were seen at a follow-up inspection. Inspectors praised the hospital’s hand-hygiene regime and general standard of cleanliness, highlighting that 100 per cent of the 45 people surveyed said they thought ward cleanliness was good.

Claire Sweeney, interim director of quality assurance for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “During the inspection of Princess Royal Maternity Hospital, we saw staff using good hand-hygiene practices while carrying out their duties and the standard of domestic cleaning was good.

“However, we identified issues for improvement. NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde must ensure expressed breast milk is stored safely. The emergency birthing room and the incubator units must be kept clean and ready for use.

“We carried out a return visit on Thursday 27 October and we were satisfied that key improvements had been made.

“The NHS board has drawn up an action plan to address these issues. We will continue to monitor the cleanliness of Princess Royal Maternity Hospital at future inspections.”