Emergency clean-up ordered at Dumfries hospital

A HEALTH board has been ordered to improve a hospital “as a matter of priority” after inspectors found “poor” cleanliness in its intensive care unit.

Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. Picture: geograph.org.uk [CC]
Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary. Picture: geograph.org.uk [CC]

Inspectors also noted “poor compliance” with standard infection control precautions in the unit at Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) has issued eight requirements and three recommendations for NHS Dumfries and Galloway to address.

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Inspectors found that the standard of environmental cleaning in the intensive care unit (ICU) was poor and some patient equipment was not clean when they visited the hospital on 15 and 16 January this year.

They noted dusty equipment including ventilators, drip stands and blood pressure monitors, and dust in patient bed areas, a treatment room and storage areas.

The inspectors also found poor compliance with standard infection-control precautions in ICU, where they noted nursing and medical staff moving from patient bedsides to other areas of the ward without removing their protective equipment.

HEI chief inspector Susan Brimelow said: “We have identified a significant number of high-priority areas where Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary must make improvements within one month.

“During inspection on 15 and 16 January, we were not satisfied with infection prevention and control practices seen in the intensive care unit.

“In particular, we found the standard of cleaning was poor and patient equipment which was not clean. We escalated our concerns on the day of inspection and revisited the hospital on 22 January to follow these up.

“After revisiting the ICU, we feel assured by the steps being taken by NHS Dumfries and Galloway to resolve these issues.”

The inspectors also noted inappropriate storage of equipment in ICU, including open boxes of sterile stock items on the floor of the store room, in the main corridor area and on the worktop of the unit’s treatment room.

They found that cleaning schedules did not accurately reflect the activity or equipment found on the wards and units inspected.

Jeff Ace, chief executive of NHS Dumfries and Galloway, said: “The report does not identify harm to patients and the board has great confidence in the staff and in the standard of care provided in our ICU.

“The report does, however, identify environmental and other latent risks, and we have moved extremely quickly to address these.

“I would like to express my thanks to all of the team who have worked very hard to address the HEI recommendations in such a short space of time.”

NHS Dumfries and Galloway said that it responded as a matter of priority to the HEI recommendations, most of which have already been addressed.

It said that concerns over cleaning and storage are, in part, associated with limitations imposed by an ageing ICU and a new hospital, which is to be built, will eliminate many of these problems