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Hospital infection controls criticised

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A hospital has been told to improve its infection control standards by health inspectors who made 16 requirements for change.

Although finding a “satisfactory” level of cleanliness at Hairmyres Hospital, run by NHS Lanarkshire, a member of staff was observed serving a meal to a patient in an isolation unit without washing their hands before or after.

Some staff admitted to getting changed into their uniforms in the toilet blocks, despite a changing facility being available at the hospital in East Kilbride.

The report said the hospital is generally clean, in a good state of repair and making progress against NHS standards. But it found poor communication between the NHS and contractors supplying catering and cleaning services.

Similar concerns were found in communication between senior staff and the wards and some copies of an infection control manual were out of date.

One commode was found to be “unsuitable” for use, despite being labelled as clean.

Health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “I established the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate to shine a light on Scotland’s hospitals as part of our efforts to drive up standards throughout the NHS.

“While this report highlights a number of areas of good practice, it also identifies weaknesses and I expect NHS Lanarkshire to work with the inspectorate to address these.”

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