Sunday 19 November 2017

Hospital infection control standards spark concern

Photo: PA
Photo: PA
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Inspectors witnessed staff walking through an operating theatre to access the decontamination facilities while a procedure was in progress at Mercy Hospital Cork, according to a new report.

The report from Hiqa also found there was no decontamination lead within the hospital.

“ Hiqa was informed that the hospital decontamination committee had not met in a number of years. Assurance was not provided at the time of the initial inspection that effective governance and management arrangements in place were sufficient to fully ensure the provision of a high quality and safe decontamination of reusable invasive medical devices service within the hospital.”

It said the configuration and location of the decontamination facilities was not fit-for-purpose and did not facilitate the implementation of effective infection prevention and control measures.

Dedicated gowning rooms with hand hygiene facilities were not available at the entrance to the clean room, inspection, assembly and packing room.

The store room was cluttered, overstocked with little space to manoeuvre due to the storage of equipment on the available floor space. In addition, the room was poorly maintained with visible damage to wall surfaces and ceiling tiles. There were no hand hygiene facilities in this room.

The first unannounced inspection took place in June and a second follow-up visit was carried out in July because of concerns about infrastructure and decontamination facilities.

It said substantial risks remained due to the current decontamination facilities, processes and the challenges posed by an old building.

The hospital was given an action plan which it is now working on.

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