Hygiene and clinical waste failures at Dublin hospital

A hygiene inspection at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital has unearthed a “number of failings” which HIQA believes pose a “serious risk” to the health of patients.

The unannounced inspection at the hospital was undertaken in July and uncovered that a number of medical staff only washed their hands “half the time”.

Inspectors also found that some medical staff wore the same apron across a number of rounds; hazardous materials and syringes were kept in unlocked rooms and some soiled and infected linen was kept in a “dirty” utility room. Bags of ‘unsecured clinical waste’ were also seen.

These are not uncommon findings, some perhaps of only limited immediate concern but nonetheless indicative of a generally poor standard of performance and perhaps of resource, planning and administration failings, and deficiencies in training, supervision and audit.

That is unacceptable.

Waste management deficiencies at producer sites is often below a standard that should be considered acceptable, at ward of clinic level and as those wastes make their way via temporary stores through the hospital estate to a holding point to await collection for treatment.

Picking these up as additional items to highlight within a hygiene inspection is almost guaranteed, so this comes as no surprise. But it should be better. Much, much better than that.




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