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St Vincent's staff blasted over hygiene

STAFF at a top Dublin hospital have come in for criticism for not reaching acceptable hand washing standards.

A new report revealed only 64pc of all workers at St Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin 4 were trained in hand hygiene in 2010.

The report was produced following an audit of the hospital by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).

It found that St Vincent's made "measurable improvements" in the delivery of hygiene services when compared to 2008. However, in hand washing, the hospital only received a 'B' rating.

HIQA said it observed that hand hygiene was not practised at every opportunity during an inspection at the hospital. The hand-washing technique "did not always comply with best practice", it added.

The assessment found the hospital "did not meet all the requirements" to ensure the safe delivery of "key aspects of hygiene services ... safely, efficiently and effectively".

All hospitals are expected to reach a compliance level of 85pc -- or an 'A' rating -- with all national hygiene services quality standards.


However, St Vincent's achieved an 'A' in just three of seven key areas.

The hygiene audit is carried out at hospitals around the country.

The inspection on May 10, which took place over six-and-a-half hours, resulted in St Vincent's receiving a 'B' rating for its physical environment. The report described the overall standard of hygiene as "good", though there were "unclean commodes" stored with clean commodes in the sluice room.

A 'B' rating was given for the hospital's record in keeping medical equipment clean, with three of the eight areas observed containing dirty equipment.

An 'A' rating was received for ensuring cleaning equipment and the kitchen were kept clean. The top grade was also obtained for disposing of hazardous materials such as needles.

Similar problems were found at Dublin's Temple Street Children's Hospital in March.

Although the general standard of hygiene was good, they also failed to reach over 85pc compliance in hand hygiene.