A report recently released by HIQA has revealed that Irish Hospitals have a low standard when it comes to hygiene-particularly in relation to hand hygiene.
The Health Information Quality Authority-an independent body which surveys the quality and safety of the health service in Ireland-has published several reports that were the result of unannounced visits by their inspectors visiting Irish hospitals. Five hospitals were subject to such inspections during June and July of this year, and the report revealed that there was a general lack of hand hygiene in each of the facilities.
The inspectors identified several other issues in the hospitals. Patients with suspected communicable diseases were being treated in open bays of Accident and Emergency Departments, in spite of the obvious risk. The doors of isolation units-where patients with transmittable diseases were being treated-were left open as standard practise.
The hospitals which were visited by inspectors were as follows:
-Waterford Regional Hospital, Waterford
-St Michael’s House, Dun Laoghaoire
-Portiuncila Hospital, Galway
-Louth County Hospital, Dundalk
-Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan
The general poor standard of hygiene at the hospitals was exemplified by several different incidents discovered by inspectors. Five hygienic gel dispensers were found to be empty at the Waterford Regional Hospital. Several more were blocked up by congealed soap, and mould was found to be growing in patients’ shower units and around toilet areas.
The Clinical Director of the Waterford Regional Hospital-Rob Landers-commented on the report, stating that the hospital was “extremely disappointed” with the findings. He added that their Accident and Emergency Department was extremely busy on the day that the inspectors made their unannounced visit.
In response to the findings, he stated that compulsory hand hygiene training would be introduced for all workers at the hospital in future and that future hygiene breathes would become a disciplinary manner for employees. Mr Landers reassured patients that it was safe to attend Waterford Regional Hospital despite the finding in HIQA´s report.