Inspectors give BGH a clean bill of health

cleanliness and infection control at Borders General Hospital has improved noticeably since health inspectors visited the hospital in March last year, and after they returned, unannounced, in December they praised the improvements NHS Borders has implemented.

Speaking of the report, Susan Brimelow, HEI Chief Inspector, said “I am very pleased to see significant progress at Borders General Hospital since our previous inspection in March 2010 which led to 13 requirements and four recommendations for improvement.”

Back in March last year inspectors called for NHS Borders to take urgent action adding: “There is a large discrepancy between what senior management believes is happening and what is taking place at ward level.”

When they returned in December, however, they reported: “The hospital is clean and there is good communication between staff at all levels. As a result of previous inspections, executive and hospital management walk rounds and an NHS Borders internal inspection team have been introduced.

“There are still some areas that require improvement, including more effective schedules for cleaning patient equipment and better implementation of NHS Borders policy for checking mattresses. However, in general, this report illustrates good progress by NHS Borders and is a great example of how inspection can help drive improvements in the care patients receive.”

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “It’s heartening to see the improvements that NHS Borders have put in place at Borders General Hospital, following a disappointing initial inspection report.

“Staff at NHS Borders and the Borders General Hospital have worked hard to address the issues raised and this report shows their efforts are paying dividends.

“I set up the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate to put hospitals under unprecedented levels of scrutiny and drive up standards in our hospitals. The improvements at Borders General show that this process is delivering results and ensuring that our hospitals meet the high standards which patients rightly expect.”

Calum Campbell, chief executive of NHS Borders said: “Overall the inspection team has found evidence that NHS Borders has worked hard to improve our compliance with NHS QIS HAI Standards to protect, patients, staff and visitors.

“Since previous HEI reports issued last year, it is clear that outstanding progress has been made within the BGH and we are continuing to improve our policies and practices. There has also been a significant reduction in the number of recommendations made in this latest report which is a testament to the tremendous effort staff have put in to making important improvements to the healthcare environment of our patients.

“Patient safety is our number one priority and we have shown we are committed to providing high standards of care, cleanliness and hygiene to minimise the risk of healthcare associated infection. We will continue to work on our cleaning schedules, full implementation of our mattress auditing policy and our processes for sharing HAI information with patients and visitors.

“Already we have an action plan in place to ensure we implement the recommendations set out in the report and I am confident this will ensure sustained improvements.”