Comment: We must be assured of hospital improvement

We have become used to reports of hospital cleanliness under fire in recent years.

In almost all cases, the inspectors’ findings have been accompanied with the reassuring addendum: “standards were found to have improved on follow-up checks”.

That’s OK then . . . except, it certainly feels like the same issues are coming round time and again.

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Today, the latest hospital under the microscope is the Western General where the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) found equipment on some wards was dirty, areas were overcrowded and hand gels had been removed.

We are once again assured that NHS Lothian is tackling the issues raised and that huge improvements have already been made.

We would expect nothing less. However, we also need to be confident that the lessons learned from these unannounced inspections are leading to sustained long-term improvements.

On the one hand, the failings found by the HEI show the inspection system is working. On the other, it highlights how far hospitals still have to go to clean up their act.

Get well soon, Lynne

THERE will not be many people in Edinburgh who do not know the name Lynne McNicoll. The fundraiser extraordinaire has brought in £1.3 million in the space of eight years with what must be super-human powers of kindness.

Most recently, her charity It’s Good 2 Give has been on a mission to build a specialist cancer respite home.

Today we learn Lynne has been given the cruel news that she is facing her own battle with cancer. We’re sure everyone will join us in wishing her well as she prepares to undergo treatment with her trademark positivity and humour. Get well soon, Lynne. You are an inspiration.