Cleanliness and hygiene top of critical report for Vic

Inspectors paid a visit to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.
Inspectors paid a visit to the Victoria Hospital in Kirkcaldy.

A snap inspection at Victoria Hospital has revealed blood and body fluids on patient equipment, stained mattresses and poor hygiene.

Now the hospital has been given three months to shape up.

The findings were made as part of an unannounced visit by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) just one week after they raised a number of issues during a formal inspection.

While the assessors noted improvements in some areas, it still uncovered examples of poor hygiene and lack of cleanliness.

They assessed seven different wards and areas of the hospital including A&E, maternity inpatient unit and Ward 54 (surgical).

The majority of wards and units that the HEI assessed, were found to have a low standard of cleanliness and found a variety of contaminated patient equipment.

The report revealed that A&E was the worst.

1 all nine patient trolley frames were found to be stained with blood and/or other body fluids;

1 significant amounts of dust found on equipment;

1 Nine out of 12 cot mattresses in the maternity inpatient unit contaminated with body fluids.

1 Equipment and a high number of mattresses in other wards and units found to have traces of blood and/or other body fluid.

Included in the report was a public survey where inspectors spoke with 12 patients who were complimentary about the care and treatment that they received.

However, a survey that was carried out of 40 patients at the same time, revealed that they had a number of concerns with one patient commenting: “I am in a side room; I have blood on my sheets. Never been changed. Cleaner came in and did nothing in room”.

Susan Brimelow, HEI chief inspector, said: “I am extremely disappointed by the findings from this inspection.

“ We found patient equipment which was not clean and a poor standard of environmental cleanliness.”

“We returned unannounced to ensure improvements had been made and to assess progress.

‘‘Although we saw some areas of improvement, issues with the cleanliness of patient equipment and the environment remained – in particular the A&E department and ward 15.

“Due to the serious nature of our findings, I escalated my concerns to Scottish Government.

“We will continue to inspect Victoria Hospital to ensure that improvements are made, as every patient coming into hospital should expect their local hospital to be clean.”

Dr Brian Montgomery, NHS Fife interim chief executive, said: “I am very disappointed that the report has highlighted a number of areas where NHS Fife has fallen short of the required standards.

“While there has been some progress in relation to areas for improvement highlighted in previous reports, there is still work to be done to raise standards to a consistent level in all areas of the Victoria Hospital.

“I would reassure our patients that urgent action has already been taken to address the issues raised by the inspection report. NHS Fife is fully committed to providing a clean, safe environment.”