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Beaumont patients at risk from MRSA, admits hospital boss

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 Beaumont Hospital was criticised by inspectors. Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins

Beaumont Hospital was criticised by inspectors. Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins

Beaumont Hospital was criticised by inspectors. Picture: Gareth Chaney Collins

PATIENTS treated in the overcrowded emergency department of Beaumont hospital are being put at risk of a range of infectious diseases including TB, MRSA and flu on a daily basis.

The stark admission is made in an unpublished letter by Liam Duffy, chief executive of the Hospital.

The hospital was recently castigated in a report by inspectors for poor standards of hygiene.

Mr Duffy outlined the potential dangers to patients in a letter to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA) months before it sent in its inspectors and produced the damning findings.

He said the emergency department was struggling to cope with a huge volume of patients daily with limited space. He also outlined inadequate toilet facilities and just two single rooms.

"There are no isolation rooms with ensuite facilities and there are no appropriately ventilated rooms for accommodating patients with suspected infectious tuberculosis," he said.

It is leaving patients at risk of exposure to infectious diseases such as flu, C Difficile, norovirus, TB and multi-drug resistant bugs, the letter, which was obtained under freedom of information rules, revealed.

Patients also also placed at risk of blood-borne viruses in the kidney dialysis section because of a shortage of space and other restrictions.

VULNERABLE

There is also a lack of proper ventilation and single room facilities for patients who are undergoing kidney and pancreas transplants.

The hospital had already warned about the implication of the outdated hospital building for "our increasingly vulnerable patient population".

When inspectors made an unannounced visit, they found most doctors failed to wash their hands or change their aprons as they moved from patient to patient.

In the emergency department trolleys and shelving with equipment were found to be dusty, while a bin in a men's toilet was "encrusted with dust and grime".

In a statement, the hospital said the HSE had recently approved funding for a purpose-built transplant unit which will meet current standards for prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections.

hnews@herald.ie


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