Patient equipment at an Western General hospital has been found to be contaminated in faeces, blood and other body fluids a inspection found
Inspectors visited the Western General Hospital unannounced on November 18 and 19 last year. They were so concerned with what they saw, they told management of their concerns immediately.
They then returned on November 27 in another unannounced visit.
A report from Healthcare Improvement Scotland released on Monday says the standard of cleanliness was poor across the hospital.
Patient equipment across the hospital was not clean, with bed handrails, mattresses, armchairs and toilet-roll dispensers contaminated.
Sixteen of the 21 commodes examined were covered in faeces, blood of body fluids. Two were damaged and could not be cleaned properly.
A pair of pressure-relieving boots in a storeroom were turned inside out and found to have body fluids inside.
One patient told inspectors the toilet and shower room in their ward could be cleaner, saying “seats plus floor has been covered in faeces a few times”.
In a ward where patients have bowel conditions, the macerators had been broken for more than a month and staff were having to dispose of human waste in a patient toilet.
Hand gel was not available in some wards.
NHS Lothian has been given eight requirements and one recommendation in the report.
Susan Brimelow, chief inspector, said: “Due to significant concerns about the cleanliness of patient equipment and the environment, we escalated our findings to senior management in the hospital.
“We requested that NHS Lothian take immediate action to address these issues and produce an improvement action plan. We returned unannounced on Thursday 27 November 2014 to assess progress against the improvement action plan and found that significant improvements had been made. NHS Lothian must address the requirements and make the necessary improvements as a matter of priority.”
NHS Lothian said they have made improvements since the inspection.
Melanie Johnson, executive nurse director, said: “We welcome the report from the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate and we acted on the findings from the inspectors as a matter of urgency. We recognise that some standards were below those we would expect and I apologise to any patients who may have been affected. I would also like to reassure them that those areas have been rectified.
“Since the first of the visits in November, immediate changes were put in place to address all areas that were singled out for improvement.
“A detailed action plan was drawn up and all points have been completed. Many of these significant improvements were proven during the subsequent unannounced visit by inspectors as is detailed in the report.
“In February, we will also pilot a new model of working which will see some changes to the existing roles of some nursing and domestic staff. It will place a greater emphasis on cleaning around patients’ bed areas.
“We have also asked Health Protection Scotland, an independent body designed to providing advice, support and information to health professionals to help protect health, to support our teams. We have asked if they can identify any other areas that can be strengthened or enhanced.”