clean up your act

A MAN WASHING HIS HANDS IN A WASH BASIN.'HEALTH , CLEAN , DIRTY HANDS , MRSA , DISEASE. '   '     PHOTO PHIL WILKINSON / TSPL
A MAN WASHING HIS HANDS IN A WASH BASIN.'HEALTH , CLEAN , DIRTY HANDS , MRSA , DISEASE. ' ' PHOTO PHIL WILKINSON / TSPL
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staff at Kirkcaldy’s Victoria Hospital have been told to wash their hands more often to prevent infection among patients, staff and visitors.

A report issued this week, following an unannounced inspection of the hospital on April 20 by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI), recommended more hand washing among all staff.

It said that, while standards of hygiene within the hospital were “generally good”, there was room for improvement.

Orthopaedic, cardiology, stroke, care of the elderly and respiratory wards were visited by inspectors.

On the orthopaedic ward, one doctor was seen not washing his hands, and neither did a nurse after taking a blood sample.

And on Ward 11 for care of the elderly, staff were seen moving between dirty and clean tasks without washing their hands, while inspectors noted it was often difficult for staff to reach sinks because waste bins were in front of them.

Among the strengths reported were support for senior nurses from management and involvement of the public in infection control.

Commended

On the orthopaedic and stroke wards the practice of checking matresses daily when sheets were being changed was commended.

However the inspectors noted that more needed to be done by staff to improve hand washing procedures and recommended that risk assessments be carried out for patients in isolation rooms whose doors had to be left open.

Susan Brimelow, chief inspector of HEI said: “Overall we found that NHS Fife is working towards complying with healthcare-associated infection standards to protect patients, staff and visitors from the risk of acquiring an infection.

“We expect that all requirements and recommendations will be addressed , and the necessary improvements made, as a matter of priority.”

John Wilson, chief executive of the Operational Division, said: “We welcome the final report and note the areas of good practice highlighted.

“These are encouraging to our staff who are committed to achieving the wide range of challenging targets set. We also note the areas where improvements can be made.

“An action plan has already been drawn up, and we have been able to make good progress against this in the intervening period.”