No parking permits for hospital staff who don’t wash hands
Seven public acute hospitals get letters from Hiqa warning about poor hygiene practices
A Hiqa report found many hospitals meet national infection prevention and control standards but all hospitals could improve hand hygiene and environmental cleanliness
Hospitals are getting tough on staff who do not wash their hands properly by imposing sanctions and penalties.
Connolly Hospital in Dublin said it will withhold parking permits from staff who refuse to take part in hand-hygiene training.
Junior doctors on rotation from Cork University Hospital to Bantry General Hospital must complete an online hand-hygiene course or a session with the infection-control nurse and present the certificate to the hospital before starting a placement there.
An overview report of Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa) unannounced hygiene inspections in public hospitals shows while many hospitals meet national infection prevention and control standards, all hospitals could do more to improve hand hygiene and environmental cleanliness.
The inspection team observed various examples in hospitals where efforts were made to promote hand hygiene and improve compliance among staff.
Hiqa carried out unannounced inspections at 49 out of 50 public acute hospitals between February 2014 and January 2015.
Parking permitsHiqa inspectors noted Connolly Hospital in Dublin would withhold parking permits if staff did not complete hand-hygiene training.
A spokeswoman for the hospital said: “In 2015 Connolly Hospital has commenced implementing a pilot hand-hygiene improvement initiative. Valid parking permits for 2016 will be given to staff who complete their mandatory hand-hygiene training.”
Further studyInspectors noted St James’s Hospital in Dublin prevented staff from applying for further study if they had not been trained in hand hygiene.
Meanwhile, at Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan a group text message was sent to non-consultant hospital doctors informing them of the “bare below the elbow” policy, and that handbags were not allowed to be worn in clinical areas.
Inspectors noted one hospital had taken a “zero tolerance” approach to hand-hygiene non-compliance amongst staff.
A penalty-point system was put in place at Mallow General Hospital in Cork whereby staff would receive a penalty point for hand-hygiene non-compliances, while staff who got five points would be required to reattend hand-hygiene training.
Seven public acute hospitals received letters from the Hiqa warning of poor hygiene practices.
Hiqa found problems with environment and facilities management, hand hygiene, communicable disease control and unclean patient equipment.
The report found a need for better internal checks on hand-hygiene practice in some hospitals.