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
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
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
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
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