A shocked hospital patient said she saw a person being put into a bed she had just vacated, without the sheets being changed.
And the woman, who did not wish to be named, said that, despite complaining about cleanliness 18 months ago to Victoria Hospital, the same lack of hygiene was still going on.
The Glenrothes woman, who suffers from numerous health problems, said she had been in and out of hospital over many years and been treated in the Vic and Ninewells Hospital in Dundee.
“I was taken to A&E on Thursday and moved to the admissions ward at around 5pm,” she explained.
“I was there until around 1am, and, during that time, I was seen by eight or nine staff. Only one doctor and one nurse washed their hands while on the ward, despite handling a number of patients.
“One nurse helped transfer a woman from a side room, lifted her under the arms then dealt with another patient before coming to see me, and she never washed her hands.
“At Ninewells the nurses carried bottles of hand sanitiser and used it after each patient.
“Another nurse took pillows from my bed and put them under another patient’s head. I was sitting in a chair beside my bed waiting for test results when they put another patient in the bed without changing the sheets. I can’t believe that nothing has improved.”
Helen Wright, NHS Fife’s director of nursing, said: “Domestic staff go to great lengths to ensure that we provide a clean and safe environment for patients. This was evident in the most recent inspection of the hospital by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate in August 2015, which commended the cleanliness.
“Staff have a vital role to play in maintaining the cleanliness and must adhere to the robust protocols around infection prevention and control. We believe staff adherence is good, and in instances where we find it is not then staff are sanctioned.
“I am disappointed that in this case the patient involved did not feel that the care, or the environment were of the required standard and I would urge her to get in touch with us so that her concerns can be fully explored.”