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A number of issues over cleanliness have been raised after the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) carried out an unannounced inspection of the Balivanich hospital.

Inspectors found staff using good hand hygiene practices while carrying out their duties and the standard of domestic cleaning was very good.

The inspection in October discovered a number of stained mattresses and patient chairs with leakage on the inside cover and foam inserts. The mattresses had been signed as being recently unzipped and checked during discharge cleaning.

Inspectors were told the mattresses and chairs had been removed from use and had been condemned.

The HEI require the health board to provide clean and safe mattresses and patient chairs to minimise the risk of cross-infection.

Also found was a variety of damaged, chipped, torn or rusty equipment such as bed frames, patient lockers, patient chairs, wooden surfaces like doors and window frames, and shower chairs.

A birthing pool is stored for use in one of the maternity rooms and had never been used. The manufacturer’s cleaning instructions for the pool do not comply with guidance said inspectors.

They said the hospital could do better by evaluating the uptake of mandatory infection control training and responds to unmet staff infection prevention and control training and education needs.

Western Isles NHS board must demonstrate that the microbiology service provides best practice testing, including laboratory processing and diagnostics, said the watchdog.

A robust reporting and escalation procedure for managing estates and maintenance issues must be implemented,

Claire Sweeney, interim director of quality assurance at HEI said NHS Western Isles must ensure patient equipment can be cleaned effectively to reduce the risk of infection and must put an effective process in place to manage maintenance issues.

Ms Sweeney said: “The NHS board has drawn up an action plan to address these issues. We will continue to monitor the cleanliness of Uist and Barra Hospital at future inspections.”

A spokesperson for NHS Western Isles said it “welcomes all inspections of our clinical services and any requirements and or recommendations for improvement.

“Whilst the report highlighted what the staff were doing well, specifically the two areas of compliance with hand hygiene, and the standard of domestic cleaning, which was found to be very good, the inspection also found a number of mattresses and patient chairs that had staining and leakage on the inside cover and foam inserts, which is not acceptable.

“At the time of the inspectors visit, new beds were on order for Uist and Barra Hospital and action has been taken to ensure full compliance with our routine cleaning and inspection schedules.”


She added: “The care and maintenance of our equipment and the patient environment is a priority and the inspection found that our current electronically based system for logging and delivering improvements in these areas was not working effectively, action has been taken to ensure that a robust reporting and escalation procedure for managing estates and maintenance issues is in place.”




Cleanliness improvements after hospital inspection

22 December 2016