herald

Friday 20 October 2017

Two Dublin hospitals fail hygiene standards testing

TWO out of five hospitals that were found to be majorly non-compliant with hygiene standards last year are in Dublin.

The heath watchdog carried out unannounced inspections in 49 out of 50 acute hospitals last year and discovered hygiene issues in many of them warranting return visits.

In Dublin, inspectors visited 15 hospitals and were forced to return to Tallaght Hospital and Connolly Hospital because of major non-compliance with hygiene practises.

In Tallaght a July inspection unveiled problems with unclean equipment and unacceptable levels of dust that posed a risk to patients.

Unclean equipment was found to be a problem but the situation had improved by the time inspectors returned.

Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown was also found to have serious failings during a visit in April of last year - the hospital's first since 2012.

Hospital bosses in the capital are cracking down on hand hygiene however.

Staff in St James's Hospital are prevented from pursuing further study if they have not completed training in hand hygiene.

Meanwhile, Connolly Hospital in Dublin 15 is withholding parking permits from staff who refuse to take part in hand-hygiene training.

concern

Unclean commodes were discovered in 74pc of hospitals nationally making it the largest hygiene concern in 2014.

Inspectors also discovered unclean mattresses in half off all Irish hospitals.

"Patients have the right to expect that equipment used as part of their care is clean in the first instance and cleaned after use when it is shared with other patients," Mary Dunnion the HIQA's acting Director of Regulation said.

"Hospital management need to tackle the problems head on by prioritising environmental cleaning and maintenance in patient areas."

The HSE has set a target of 90pc compliance with the highest hand hygiene standards this year.

Patients should also be encouraged to engage regular hand washing while in hospital according to HIQA.

hnews@herald.ie

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