AN unannounced visit by inspectors to Sligo Regional Hospital has found infection control standards not up to scratch.
Inspectors from HIQA said the physical environment and patient equipment were unclean in the Emergency Department and two wards.
They also noted that "a culture of hand hygiene practice was not embedded at all levels."
Only 11 out of 23 hand cleanings were observed to comply with best practice during the visit on February 28th.
The HIQA report said the 318-bed hospital must develop a quality improvement plan to fully comply with national standards.
The inspectors visited the Medical South and Surgical Gynaecology wards.
There, they found three patients with known transmissible infection being cared for in rooms with open doors, close to other patients.
Bins for risk waste were incorrectly labelled and were overfilled, with contents spilling over.
Bed frames and the undercarriage of trolleys in the Emergency Department had light dust on their surfaces.
Some Patient lockers were worn as were patient tables in the Emergency Department.
Grit and grime was observed along the edges and corners of flooring in patient areas. Grit was found in the patient showers on Medical South.
The floor-covering on floors in all clinical areas of the Emergency Department was visibly unclean.
The report also noted marked and stained walls, chipped and missing paint.
There were stained radiators, unclean electrical fixtures and torn and ripped seating.
The workstation in the Emergency Department was cluttered with the telephone handsets and wires visibly unclean. A computer had heavy levels of dust on its surface.
A red mop bucket containing soiled water and a mop was left unattended on the corridor of Medical South for two and a half hours.
The issues were brought to the immediate attention of the Assistant Hospital Manager who agreed to put in place actions to mitigate health risks.
HIQA will undertake an announced follow-up visit within the next six months.