Hospital yet to train staff in handwashing techniques
A BUSY hospital which inspectors said posed a high infection risk to patients will not have all staff re-trained in basic handwashing techniques until the end of the year.
The admission was made yesterday by Dr Colm Quigley, clinical director of Wexford hospital, in the wake of a damning report following a series of inspections by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).
The inspectors who visited the hospital on a number of occasions over three months between February and April warned that hygiene standards fell far below safety levels.
Only around half of nurses and healthcare assistants were trained in cleaning their hands to prevent the spread of infections. And there was no hand hygiene training – a key infection control measure – at the hospital recently because of "a lack of resources".
Commenting on its findings, Dr Quigley said nearly half of staff had now re-trained in handwashing techniques – but that it would be the end of the year before everyone had completed the course.
In 2013, Wexford Hospital reported that 71.9pc of staff were complying with hand hygiene rules, 18pc less than the HSE national target of 90pc.
Worryingly, it did not report results in the national hand hygiene audit for October 2013. The hospital now has a series of disciplinary measures in place for staff who flout hand hygiene rules. Dr Quigley said the hospital was down 12pc of its staff but said the executive had "embraced" the action plan.