Improvements at a children’s hospital in Scotland have been demanded after inspectors found evidence of stained mattresses and staff not washing their hands properly.
The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) also noted signs of wear and tear to chair beds and soft play cushions at the Royal Aberdeen Children’s Hospital.
The inspectors’ report highlighted 11 areas for improvement at the hospital and listed a further nine recommendations.
However, the report found that the hospital was generally clean and in a good state of repair.
It also concluded that the health board was “working hard” to comply with standards to protect patients, staff and visitors from infections.
Grampian said it was acting on the demands “as a matter of priority” and an action plan was being put in place.
The hospital provides acute care for children up to the age of 14. The current building was opened in 2004.
The HEI carried out a pre-planned inspection at the hospital on 22 and 23 September.
Overall, they found the hospital was clean and praised the management of patients with known or suspected infections.
Inspectors also pointed to a “clear understanding of antimicrobial prescribing” for young patients.
But the report also pinpointed several areas for improvement, including checks on the cleanliness of mattresses.
The report said: “During an inspection of the medical ward, three mattresses were checked. Two were found to be stained.”
It went on: “The inspection team also found two punctured pram mattresses on the same ward. Both pram mattresses had indicator tape implying that they were considered clean and fit for use.”
The inspectors found there was “no system or clear responsibility” at ward level for recording that mattresses are clean and undamaged.
They recommended that Grampian implement a reliable system for checking mattresses to ensure that they are “clean and fit for purpose at all times”.
The HEI team also noted “issues” surrounding staff hand-washing techniques.
In particular, they noted that a consultant was spotted failing to wash his hands after leaving a patient’s room.
Medical staff on the surgical ward were also observed not consistently employing the correct hand-washing technique, the report said.
The HEI called on the health board to work to ensure compliance with standard infection control precautions.
Grampian said reducing the risk of the spread of infection was a priority.
A spokeswoman said: “Grampian is pleased the inspectors found the hospital clean and that isolation practices were good.
“We also welcome acknowledgement that the hospital’s management of patients with known or suspected infection is clear, and that staff have a clear understanding of what should be in place for antimicrobial prescribing for paediatric patients.
“There is also recognition that Grampian is working hard to comply with the national standards which protect patients, staff and visitors from infection.
“The report does, however, contain a number of requirements and recommendations which we are acting on as a matter of priority. An action plan has been submitted to the inspectorate and can be found on their website.
“The public can be reassured that the infection control record of the hospital remains high.
“The rate of transmission of infection in children is very low. We have never had an outbreak of bacterial infections such as MRSA or C difficile in RACH.”