Hospital given six weeks to clean up its act

Inspection reveals dirty sinks, soiled toilets and filthy floors at Nenagh Hospital, Co Tipperary

The discovery of dirty sinks, soiled toilets and filthy floors has led to a warning over hygiene standards at Nenagh Hospital in County Tipperary.

Health watchdog, the Health Information and Quality Authority, also found dusty and gritty bedsteads and mouldy shower rooms, reporting ‘much evidence’ of the hospital breaching national cleanliness standards. Men’s wards were particularly affected by the problems.

A report into the visit draws attention to sticky residue on bedside lockers, crumbling walls, dusty surfaces and faulty electrical fittings, along with soiled areas and black mould in toilets and showers. A medical device for monitoring the temperatures of patients was also found to be unclean, severed electrical wiring was found hanging free in a utility area, and there was no door into a room storing hazardous waste, enabling unfettered access. In addition, corridors were found to be cluttered with specialist equipment alongside laundry items and floors were stained.

The environmental hygiene and equipment cleaning in both areas was not effectively managed and maintained to protect patients and reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections

The report states: “The environment and equipment in both areas were generally unclean, with some exceptions. The environment in Medical 1 Ward required improvement to ensure appropriate facilities were put in place to prevent risk to patients of contracting healthcare associated infections, including clean utility and clean linen facilities. Therefore the environmental hygiene and equipment cleaning in both areas was not effectively managed and maintained to protect patients and reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections.”

Hospital chiefs have now been given six weeks to produce a report outlining their plans for improvements.

Inspectors also made spotchecks on the Mater and St Vincent’s hospitals in Dublin and called for improvements at those also.

In St Teresa’s Ward at the Mater, they found unlabelled syringes with unknown solutions lying in two kidney dishes in a utility room, along with uncapped needles, some of which had been attached. A clinical waste bin was also overflowing and potentially-hazardous waste had been left in an unlocked storeroom.

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