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Nurse named as Scotland's first hospital inspector

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The Scottish Government has named Susan Brimelow as chief inspector at a new independent body charged with ensuring high standards of infection control in the NHS.

As head of the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate, she will spearhead a programme of planned and unannounced hospital inspections throughout the NHS in Scotland in a similar way to the Care Quality Commission’s spot-checks in England.

The strategy is part of the Scottish Government’s attempt to reduce MRSA and C diff in hospitals.

During a three-year inspection cycle, every acute hospital will receive a minimum of one planned visit and one random visit. The full scheme will start in September after being tested at two NHS boards this summer.

Ms Brimelow is currently employed as healthcare regulation director at the Care Commission. Ms Brimelow joined the commission at the end of July 2002 from NHS Glasgow, where she was deputy director of nursing at North Glasgow University Hospitals NHS Trust. Prior to this, she was director of nursing and quality at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow.

The creation of the inspectorate follow a number of measures to tackle hospital infections already in place. The senior sister and charge nurse role has been altered, giving them responsibility for ensuring ward cleanliness. There is also a new staff uniform and dress code.

Additionally, there will be no more privatisation of cleaning contracts, while all new-build hospitals must have 100% single rooms to help prevent the spread of infection.

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