HIQA report raises hygiene concerns at Louth Hospital
HYGIENE standards at one unit in the Louth County Hospital came under the spotlight in a recent HIQA report.
The Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) made an unannounced inspection of the Dundalk hospital last month, with a specific focus on the 18 bed Stroke Rehabilitation unit.
The authority raised concerns about hygiene in certain areas of the unit and insisted that some needed attention.
Although HIQA reported 'some improvements' in the cleanliness and maintenance of the environment and patient equipment in the unit, a number of key areas of concern were identified.
It said, in general, the area was clean, 'with some exceptions.'
These included: Badly chipped paint work on radiators, skirting boards, window ledges and bed frames were noted, which had been hindering 'effective cleaning.'
Scuffed walls on two of the wards were observed, along with dusty surfaces and a large brown stain on a curtain around one patient's bed.
Inspectors reported that there was a lack of waste disposal bins in the bathrooms of the stroke unit.
The inspectors also noted that a large number of hand gel fixtures in patients wards were unclean 'with sticky residue on the front surface and in the area around the nozzle.'
They also remarked on a white residue on one of the legs of an intravenous stand.
In other areas of the ward the HIQA inspectors found cobwebs on a window frame inside the clean linen storage room.
Responding to the report, a spokesman for the HSE told The Argus: 'The management of Louth Meath Hospital Group welcomes this latest report by HIQA.
During the course of the monitoring assessment for the National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections carried out by HIQA at Louth County Hospital, Dundalk, the authority did not identify any immediate serious risks to the health and welfare of patients.'
He added: 'The Louth Meath Hospital Group will work to address the issues identified in the report and are involved in a continuous monitoring and quality improvement programme for Hygiene Services.
It is also of note that the report recognised that the Hospital has performed well in all six of the national hand hygiene audits and has good levels of attendance for hand hygiene training.
Overall, the environment and patient equipment in the Stroke Rehabilitation Unit were clean with some exceptions.'