On an unannounced visit to the BGH in June this year the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate found equipment on two wards had not been cleaned to the expected standard.
Inspectors assessed the progress made by NHS Borders since their last visit in October and November 2013, when they identified six requirements and one recommendation, and while some improvement had been made by the health board, inspectors concluded there was still room for improvement.
Following the inspection the HEI report concluded that the standard that “all patient equipment is clean and ready for use” had not been met and in their report they say: “We looked at a range of patient equipment and found several items were contaminated in wards 4 and 12. These items included commodes, shower chairs, patient trolleys and bed frames. Some items were significantly contaminated.”
NHS Borders has met four of the requirements from last year’s inspection: sharps management policy; linen management within the Special Care Baby Unit; appropriate storage of breast milk; and the enhancement of bathing facilities in Ward 12. And has partially met the requirement relating to properly documenting relating peripheral vascular catheter insertions.
Director of nursing and midwifery at NHS Borders, Evelyn Rodger said: “Whilst we are pleased that the majority of requirements from last year have been met, the findings and photographs taken of inappropriately cleaned equipment on the day of inspection were completely unacceptable.
“I would like to give my assurance that these were isolated incidents and that immediate action was taken to ensure that these one off matters remain precisely that.
“Our senior charge nurses, alongside all staff on the wards subscribe completely to the HAI standards and will use this report to drive further improvement.
“A robust 11 point action plan has been put in place to ensure that all patient equipment is clean and ready for use, and that there is an effective and consistent assurance system in place across the hospital. The plan includes an enhanced education and training programme on cleaning frequencies and a sign-off and escalation process for acceptance of environmental cleaning standards.
“Feedback from the Inspection team included very positive comments from patients who were interviewed about the standard of care they were receiving at the BGH.
“I would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of patient and public feedback so that we can continue to make sustained improvements.”