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Cameron Hospital in Windygates
Cameron Hospital in Windygates

Cameron Hospital has marked a first for Scotland with a satisfactory cleanliness check by environmental watchdogs.

The 74-bed complex in Windygates is the first community hospital in Scotland to be assessed by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI).

The HEI’s focus is to reduce the healthcare-associated infection (HAI) risk to patients through a rigorous inspection process, and provide assurances that any related HAI issues are being tackled.

Cameron scored pass marks in the check although, afterwards, NHS Fife was instructed to follow specific rules when installing hand-washing facilities, and to ensure staff identified specific HAI objectives.The inspection covered the Balcurvie and Balgonie (rehabilitation) wards, the Letham (stroke) ward, the physiotherapy and occupational therapy departments for over-65s and the Sir George Sharp Unit (physiotherapy and occupational therapy rehabilitation unit for under-65s).

HEI chief inspector Susan Brimelow said: “This is the very first community hospital we have inspected and, overall, we have been satisfied with our findings.

“We found wards and patient equipment were clean.”

Community hospitals offer a wide range of locally- available services to people in urban and rural communities.

They provide diagnostic and treatment services locally so that people do not have to travel significant distances, and are often a bridge between home and specialist acute hospital care.

The Windygates hospital, built in 1911, was the first community hospital to be checked by HEI, which assessed it against the NHS Quality Improvement Scotland (NHS QIS) healthcare associated infection (HAI) standards .

HEI chief inspector Susan Brimelow said the findings overall were satisfactory, with wards and patient equipment found to be clean.

However, NHS Fife was instructed to carry out improvements in two specific areas, and recommended to take action in two others, concerning checklists and staff communication.

It was ordered to comply with a specific Scottish Health Technical Memorandum when installing wash-hand basins, to demonstrate a managed process in line with both NHS Fife and national guidelines.

In addition, all staff will have to identify specific healthcare-associated infection objectives within their annual personal development plan, or equivalent.

The HEI was set up to help reduce healthcare-linked infection risk to patients through a rigorous inspection framework.

Its inspection team fully examined NHS Fife’s self-assessment information and then inspected Cameron to validate the information, meet patients and staff, and visit wards and departments to assess how clean the 74-bed hospital was and if it met national standards.

NHS Fife has published an action plan to address the HEI findings, and both documents can be viewed at www.healthcareimprovementscotland.org/HEI.aspx.

HEI said patients were at the heart of everything it did, although it would not assess staff performance or investigate complaints.