Hospitals hit by 8 pest infestations every day
Mice, worms, cockroaches and even bats regularly infest all areas in hospitals, including operating theatres, intensive care wards and kitchens.
As well as putting patients at risk from serious infections, the pests cost the cash-strapped NHS millions of pounds every year.
Health experts described the situation as “disgusting” and said it posed a direct threat to patients.
All 14 of Scotland’s health boards were asked for details of pest control call-outs in the past year under freedom of information laws.
There were at least 2,863 infestation incidents over 12 months, an average of 7.8 every day.
Cases included 19 insect infestations at Vale of Leven Hospital, West Dunbartonshire, which is currently the subject of a public inquiry into 18 deaths from the C difficile superbug.
There was also a report of bats, which can carry a rabies-like virus, outside an operating theatre in Raigmore Hospital, Inverness.
Patients at a diabetic centre at Crosshouse hospital, Kilmarnock, had to share their treatment area with an infestation of “small worms”.