Hospital in Kenny's area 'put patients at high risk'
Patients in Taoiseach Enda Kenny's local hospital were exposed to high-infection risk, prompting inspectors to issue a stern warning letter, a new report has revealed.
Mayo General Hospital in Castlebar was the subject of two visits, in May and July, over the summer by hygiene inspectors who found a litany of failings putting it far below standard.
Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) said there was a lack of basic control measures to protect patients from invasive aspergillosis, where a mould poses a dangerous risk to patients with a weak immune system.
The inspectors, who visited the orthopaedic ward, renal dialysis unit and the cancer day unit, expressed concern at the risk of invasive aspergillosis associated with construction and renovation works in the orthopaedic ward.
The standard of patient equipment hygiene in the orthopaedic ward was not in line with national standards.
There was red staining on a patient-controlled pain-relieving device.
Reusable injection trays for intravenous medications were stained and reusable injection trays were not consistently decontaminated after use, in line with best practice.
Brown staining was visible on commodes and on two patient armchairs.
At local level, daily cleaning checklists for patient equipment were not consistently completed and therefore there did not appear to be appropriate managerial oversight of the cleaning of patient equipment.
"The lack of a hygiene services manager was identified as a significant deficiency in an unannounced inspection carried out by Hiqa in Mayo University Hospital in 2015," said the inspectors.
"It was of concern that this post was still not filled on inspection in 2016. The hospital needs to review and enhance the management structures it has in place."
The inspectors also said the hospital was not in compliance with the required HSE national hand-washing compliance rate of 90pc .
A collective approach to good practice standards was needed and this needed good leadership at all levels. A subsequent visit last July showed significant scope for improvement.
Mayo Hospital said it was now amending its quality-improvement plan as per Hiqa instructions.