Wednesday 28 September 2016

Hiqa concerns over Galway hospital

Robin Schiller

Published 05/08/2016 | 02:30

A surprise inspection was carried out by the body at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, in which a number of concerns were highlighted.
A surprise inspection was carried out by the body at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, in which a number of concerns were highlighted.

HIQA has raised concerns about the handling of a deadly bacterial infection C Diff at Galway hospital.

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A surprise inspection was carried out by the body at Portiuncula Hospital, Ballinasloe, in which a number of concerns were highlighted.

The inspection was carried out on May 24, with the report being released by Hiqa yesterday.

At the end of last year a mass break-out of Clostridium difficile at the hospital, which led to more than double the number of cases compared to the national average.

There were 6.7 cases per 10,000 beds in the last three months of 2015, compared to the "desirable" HSE performance indicator of 2.5 cases per 10,000.

Clostridium difficile, which affects the bowel, can have serious outcomes for patients that may result in devastating illness or death, and increased length of hospital stay according to investigators.

The report stated that two predominant strains from the majority of samples taken indicated cross infection between patients.

Contributory factors in the hospital's outbreak report included poor environmental hygiene and poor hand hygiene compliance.

Questions were raised that many of the given contributory factors identified had been previously highlighted in the 2015 Hiqa report.

In the summary of its findings, Hiqa investigators questioned how the infection had been handled by the hospital since the outbreak.

"In summary, Hiqa is not assured that the incidence of Clostridium difficile infection is being effectively managed by the hospital management team," the report stated.

Other issues with the environment and equipment included red stains on several surfaces in a delivery room of the Maternity Department.

This included the inside of a press and a drawer containing sterile supplies.

However, the report noted that patient equipment and the environment in the Maternity Department and Theatre Department were generally clean.

Unannounced visits were also carried out at Sligo University Hospital and Galway University Hospital.

Reports on the two hospitals indicated they were mainly at a satisfactory level, but certain concerns were raised about hygiene.

The inspection of Sligo University Hospital was carried out on May 25. It noted that patient equipment in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) were "generally clean with very few exceptions".

Irish Independent

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