herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

Temple Street hand-washing record 'worst'

Picture posed
Picture posed

TEMPLE Street Children's Hospital has the worst record for staff washing their hands between patients, a nationwide audit has found.

Handwashing is the most effective way staff can reduce the chances of passing on a potentially life-threatening infection to patients.

But the northside hospital that cares for some of the sickest children in the country is bottom of a league table for hand-washing, compiled in June this year.

The figures were based on audits which were done by the hospitals themselves and sent to the disease watchdog, the Health Protection Surveillance Centre.

A spokeswoman for Temple Street said the board of directors and management "have cited falling hand hygiene compliance rates as a major concern".

They have identified improvement in compliance as a critical patient safety requirement for the hospital.

She said the hand-washing failure rate had since dropped from 37.6pc to 27pc.

"A dedicated working group has been set up with the explicit task of bringing compliance up to the required 90pc standard by year end," she said.

"It is highly regrettable that in Temple Street all grades of staff performed below the expected standard of 90pc compliance," she added.

Asked about the rate of healthcare associated infection she said the main threats such as MRSA fell by less than 1pc in the first half of the year.

The league table for all public and private hospitals shows more than one in three staff were not following orders to wash their hands - signalling a worsening rate of compliance in the past three years.

Other hospitals where hand-washing practices have deteriorated include Our Lady of Lourdes in Drogheda and Mullingar Hospital.

hnews@herald.ie

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