Beaumont putting patients at risk ‘due to poor hygiene ’
HIQA report highlights poor hand hygiene practices by some medical staff
Hiqa found that hand hygiene practices of medical staff undertaking ward rounds in the neurosurgical intensive care unit and the emergency department were not in line with best practice.
Doctors at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin are putting patients at risk by failing to follow proper hand hygiene techniques, a report has found.
The report from the Health and Quality Information Authority (Hiqa) on Beaumont is one of five released today on hygiene standards in individual hospitals.
Patients are at risk as a result of the poor hand hygiene practices of some medical staff at Beaumont Hospital, the Hiqa inspectors found.
According to their report, the hand hygiene practices of medical staff undertaking ward rounds in the neurosurgical intensive care unit and the emergency department were not in line with best practice, and hand hygiene was not completed when the medical team went from patient to patient during ward rounds.
“While a few doctors were compliant with hand hygiene best practice, most were not. Doctors neither changed their protective aprons nor undertook hand hygiene when moving from patient to patient. There was complete non-adherence with standard precautions best practice.”
Of 60 “hand hygiene opportunities” observed by inspectors, only 28 were taken by staff, and 25 complied with best practice. Non-compliance related to the handwashing technique, the wearing of wristwatches or bracelets, or the length of time taken to complete handwashing.
The neurosurgical intensive care unit was described as “clean but cluttered”, and the clutter impeded effective cleaning. Clinical waste was not secured appropriately while awaiting collection and hazardous solutions were stored on the ground and low shelves, and not in compliance with guidelines.
Some improvements were noted at the Mid-Western Regional Maternity Hospital in Limerick compared to previous inspections, but there were still many practices in place which fail to comply with national standards.
Hiqa says the physical environment, waste management and cleanliness of patient equipment were still not effectively managed to protect patients and reduce the spread of infection.
Hand hygiene practices were inconsistent with national standards, posing a clear risk to patients to acquiring an infection.
The emergency department of Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore, Co Offaly, was found to be generally unclean, placing patients at moderate risk of acquiring infection.
The care being provided to patients in emergency was also faulted, with one patient with a suspected transmissible disease being cared for in a room without handwashing facilities and the door left open.
Some handwash sinks were unclean.
Merlin Park Hospital in Galway was found to be generally clean in the areas examined, but inspectors found room for improvement in hygiene management. There was evidence of uncontrolled access for unauthorised people to hazardous clinical waste.
Lourdes Orthopaedic Hospital in Kilcreene, Co Limerick, was “generally clean though there were opportunities for improvement in practice”.