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Hygiene worries at cancer centres

Inspectors have expressed worries at the standard of hygiene and cleaning at Scotland’s largest cancer centres.
Hygiene worries at cancer centres
On a visit to the Beatson and Gartnavel General Hospitals, they found dust and debris- and were told by staff there were not always enough cleaners.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland also found many patients had not been given information about preventing infection.

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (GGC) said it had drawn up an action plan to address the inspectors’ concerns.

HIS carried out the unannounced inspection at Gartnavel, which has 558 beds, on 26 March.

The site also houses the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre with 170 beds.

In its report, the inspection team stated that it “observed good compliance with standard infection control precautions” in all the wards visited.

It continued: “However, on one ward we found a large number of full sharps bins awaiting uplift.  These were restricting access to the handwash sink in the sluice.”

“The senior charge nurse confirmed that there had been no collection the previous day (Monday) and that the portering department had been contacted to arrange collection. The senior charge nurse told us that this problem was not uncommon.”

The report also noted that on the day of inspection, the hospital was “generally clean”.

It continued: “However, in four of the nine wards and departments inspected, further attention to detail was required. This included high and low level dust and debris, particularly at floor to wall junctions.  In three of these wards and departments, staff expressed concern at the inconsistent provision of adequate domestic staff to achieve the required level of cleaning.”

The inspection resulted in three requirements – covering cleaning, information availability and record keeping – being made, which HIS expected NHS GGC to address “as a matter of priority”.

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