Local wards get clean bill of health

The new Forth Valley Royal Hospital
The new Forth Valley Royal Hospital
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Hospital bosses have been told to clean up their act.

Although inspectors found wards were clean at Forth Valley Royal, they want alcohol hand gel more readily available to help fight infection.

However, NHS officials said they didn’t put it beside every patient’s bed in case children or some adults drank it.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) visited the Larbert hospital on April 3 to monitor cleanliness and to see if it met national standards.

After touring wards and departments and talking with staff and patients, they highlighted the need to provide the hand gel and ensure all shared patient equipment is cleaned effectively to cut the risk of infection.

Three recommendations for improvements were also made. These included considering displaying information on caesarean section infection rates in the maternity department.

Inspectors also said the health board should have an action plan to follow up how Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemias (SAB) analysis is dealt with.

They also called for more consideration to be given to ensuring shared equipment, such as beds stored in a central location, is clean and ready for use.

The inspectors report published this week noted: “The hospital was clean. Housekeepers, domestic staff and senior charge nurses all spoke positively of the team approach to cleaning the wards.

“During the inspection, we interviewed seven patients. They all said the hospital was clean and had observed good hand hygiene from all staff disciplines. Of the patients surveyed during the inspection, 87 per cent stated that their ward was ‘always’ clean.”

Susan Brimelow, HEI chief inspector, said: “We are assured that NHS Forth Valley is making good progress against standards to protect patients, staff and visitors from the risks of acquiring a healthcare associated infection.

“The wards and departments were clean and there is ongoing work to improve the management of patients with severe infection, particularly bloodstream infections. However, we also identified areas for improvement including a need to increase the availability of alcohol hand gel in clinical areas.”

A spokeswoman for NHS Forth Valley said: “We are pleased that the report recognises the progress which has been made to further reduce the risk of infection and found a good standard of cleanliness in all of the areas visited. It also highlighted a number of improvements in staff education, training and compliance with key infection control policies.

“An action plan has been developed to address the issues and recommendations raised in the report.

“We took the decision not to provide hand gel beside every bed because of the risk of ingestion by children and some adults however hand gel is available at the entrance to all wards, departments, patients’ rooms and sinks. All staff are also given an individual bottle of alcohol hand gel.”

Forth Valley Royal cost £300 million to develop and became fully operational last July.