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Scottish infection prevention watchdog urges hospitals to clean up act

Inspectors have urged Scottish hospitals to make quick improvements in the fight against infection in their first ever report, released on Tuesday 23 November.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) formed in 2009 to ensure that cleaning of hospital equipment is of a high standard decreasing the risk of infections such as MRSA.

In the first year, visits were made to 29 hospitals in all 14 of Scotland’s regional health boards. A total of 172 measures to improve standards were issued along with 168 recommendations.

The infection prevention watchdog said Scotland’s hospitals were “generally clean” and that many were improving their standards of cleanliness. HEI chief inspector Susan Brimelow added that there were still “important areas” that needed maintained improvement to ensure procedures were still in place after inspectors visits.

To ensure these levels are maintained, the HEI have revealed that they will be carrying out a number of unannounced inspections throughout the coming year.

Susan Brimelow said: “In particular, we expect to see rapid and sustained improvements in the coming year that focus on improved cleaning of hospital equipment and ensuring that up-to-date policies are available and being followed by staff”.

The hospital clean up has been welcomed by the executive director of the Scotland Patients Association, Dr Jean Turner. Expressing her support she added: “Where hospitals have performed poorly, the inspectorate has ensured that improvements are put in place quickly.
“All the reports recommendations are already being addressed as part of our HAI Taskforce’s programme”.

Many planned improvements have already been implemented with a stress on the cleanliness of patient equipment and a better structure in communication between infection control teams and staff.

Read more on this story by clicking the links below:

BBC News

Press Association

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