Saturday 18 November 2017

Unhygienic equipment and out-of-date syringes found by hospital hygiene inspectors

Roscommon Hospital
Roscommon Hospital
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

A hospital inspection has found patient equipment which was not properly cleaned and syringes that were past their expiration date.

The findings emerged in an inspection of Ennis Hospital in September by Hiqa.

An inspection  report said the high risk findings showed that cleaning processes had not been effectively resourced, managed or overseen in the surgical day ward.

Hiqa also found deficiencies in relation to the management of sterile equipment. A re-inspection was required to follow up on these high-risk findings.

Inspectors found significant improvement in relation to environmental and patient equipment hygiene during re-inspection on November 2016.

The Hospital was working towards addressing all the findings identified on the September inspection.

Local management of sterile medical devices had been revised and improved in the wards visited by inspectors. However, HIQA was not assured that environmental hygiene was being appropriately resourced or managed.

Inspectors found good evidence of hand hygiene training and compliance in the hospital.

Furthermore, inspectors commended the implementation of peripheral vascular catheter and urinary catheter care bundles in both in-patient wards.

During an unannounced inspection in Roscommon University Hospital September 28  inspectors also found high-risk in relation to poor environmental and patient equipment hygiene.

There was no one designated person in charge of hospital hygiene. Inspectors also found that the arrangements for surgical instrument decontamination within the Theatre Department did not meet the requirements of national guidelines or national standards.

A re-inspection was required to follow up on these immediate high-risk findings.

Some improvement was evident in relation to the standards of environmental and patient equipment hygiene on re-inspection in November 2016. Resources allocated for patient equipment cleaning in the ward visited by inspectors had been increased slightly but not to the extent required to meet minimum cleaning frequencies for higher risk areas.

However, environmental hygiene audits continued to show deficiencies in relation to cleaning, indicating that fundamental issues in relation to environmental hygiene service delivery had not been effectively addressed.

Hospitals must now revise and amend their quality improvement plan to prioritise the improvements necessary to fully comply with the standards, according to Hiqa.

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