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Scottish hospital told to take 'urgent action' on dirty wards

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Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon has told hospital managers she expects “urgent action” after a report raised concerns about cleanliness.

Ms Sturgeon spoke out after the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate highlighted the level of cleanliness in parts of Queen Margaret Hospital in Dunfermline.

Inspectors said hand hygiene procedures and the NHS dress code were not being strictly adhered to by some medical staff

Inspectors said there were “numerous examples of varying levels of cleaning and a consistent lack of attention to detail throughout ward areas”.

The HEI - set up to help tackle healthcare associated infections such as MRSA and C difficile - also noted the “poor overall lack of cleanliness” in the renal high dependency unit.

Inspectors found some of the linen on patients’ beds was “worn and stained” and that beds in accident and emergency and one of the wards had “contaminated mattresses”.

They also said there were some areas “where the fabric of the building was so degraded it could no longer be cleaned effectively”.

In addition, the inspectors said hand hygiene procedures and the NHS dress code were not being strictly adhered to by some medical staff in wards and units.

They have now recommended all NHS Fife staff attend education sessions to address the issue.

Ms Sturgeon said that while the report highlighted some areas of good practice, there needed to be a “vigorous response” from NHS managers.

She said: “The inspectors have found a number of areas in this hospital where I expect to see urgent action to improve standards and reduce infection risks for patients.

“NHS Fife has since published an improvement plan and they have given an assurance that all of the action areas identified in the report are being addressed.

“I expect them to make swift progress in implementing the plan and the inspectorate will monitor this through further planned and unannounced inspections.”

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