Unsafe baby milk found at Wishaw hospital

Wishaw General Hospital. Picture: Contributed
Wishaw General Hospital. Picture: Contributed
Share this article
Have your say

A HOSPITAL has reviewed its processes after inspectors raised safety concerns when they found breast milk stored incorrectly in a neonatal unit.

The milk was being kept in a freezer at Wishaw General Hospital which was warmer than the recommended temperature.

The issue was uncovered when a team from the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) visited the North Lanarkshire hospital in June.

Hospitals store breast milk to feed sick and premature babies with.

But inspectors said: “We were concerned about the quality and safety of the frozen breast milk.”

Their report revealed when they visited the neonatal unit at Wishaw General Hospital they “identified an issue with the breast milk freezer being outwith the recommended temperature range”.

While the freezer should have been between -18C and -20C, the temperature gauge was showing -13C at the time of the inspection, with logs showing it had been fluctuating between -13C to -15C in the previous weeks.

Inspectors also said staff were “unsure of the correct storage temperature for frozen breast milk”.

Because of their concerns, the HEI raised the matter with a senior nurse for “immediate action” and the following day hospital managers confirmed changes had been made, including placing an extra thermometer inside the freezer and obtaining specialist guidance on storage conditions and temperature monitoring.

Iain Wallace, medical director at NHS Lanarkshire, said: “Processes for storing breast milk have been reviewed and brought to staff’s attention.”

Hospital inspectors also found a bath in one of the wards was chipped, pointing out that “chipped sanitary ware, such as baths or sinks, cannot be cleaned effectively”.

While they were told the bath had been condemned, they saw “water splashes in the bath indicating that the bath had been used recently”.