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Glasgow hospital told to improve on infection control

Action must be taken to improve standards of infection control, cleanliness and hygiene at Glasgow’s Victoria Infirmary, according to hospital inspectors.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate has published a report based on unannounced visits to the hospital in July.

The HEI said NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, which runs the hospital, was complying with the majority of required standards on infection prevention.

However, inspectors found further improvement was required in six areas. In particular, it needed to ensure that a managed environment was demonstrated in the hospital’s ward south 2 to minimise the risk of infection.

“During the inspection, we found that over a period of time, there were recurring issues on ward south 2 with cleanliness of patient equipment, sharps and waste management,” the report stated.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde has been given six requirements and one recommendation that it must act on by the inspectorate. This represents an escalation from the last time the HEI inspected the Victoria Infirmary in February 2012, when it made three requirements and one recommendation.

In particular, the HEI said the board must ensure that a managed environment is demonstrated in ward south 2.

The report also said the board must ensure staff implement standard infection control precautions, particularly sharps management, waste segregation and the use of personal protective equipment.

Where a peripheral vascular catheter is in place, staff must be made aware of the local policy when completing the accompanying care bundle documentation, the report said.

In addition, it noted that the board needed to follow guidance for neonatal units and adult paediatric intensive care units to minimise the risk of Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection from water.

It must also ensure compliance with NHSScotland cleaning services specifications and ensure staff fully implement operating procedures for cleaning patient equipment.

HEI chief inspector Susan Brimelow said “We have identified six high priority requirements that we expect NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde to address within the month.

“These include a requirement that staff follow the correct procedure for cleaning patient equipment, which we also identified as a requirement in our two previous inspections of the hospital.”

The Royal College of Nursing noted that the report came against a backdrop of significant cuts to the nursing workforce in NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde and cuts to national level infection control budgets.

RCN Scotland associate director Norman Provan said: “As ever, it is a complicated picture and the many factors behind the problems highlighted in this report need to be examined by NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, in conjunction with staff, to ensure that they are rectified as soon as possible and patient care is not put at risk.”

Mr Provan added: “It is important that senior charge nurses are given the time and authority to co-ordinate the infection control processes within their clinical area.

“We understand that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde are intending to increase the time available for senior charge nurses to perform this crucial role,” he said.

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