South Scotland

Dumfries Infirmary infection risk measures recommended

Dumfries Infirmary
Image caption The inspection visit found a number of areas where improvements were required

An inspection visit to Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary has found a number of improvements needed to reduce infection risks.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate said the hospital was meeting the majority of national targets.

However, it found areas relating to cleaning, storage facilities and communication where work was required.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said she hoped the issues would be addressed as a "matter of urgency".

The HEI made an unannounced visit to the hospital last month.

It has now issued a full report of its findings at the Dumfries hospital.

Chief Inspector Susan Brimelow said the hospital was meeting the majority of standards to protect patients, staff and visitors from acquiring an infection.

"Mandatory surveillance for healthcare acquired infections is being undertaken and policies and procedures are up to date," she said.

"However, we also identified areas for improvement relating to the standard of cleaning, availability of storage facilities, and a need for improved communication between senior management and ward staff."

'High standards'

The health board's chief executive, John Burns, said he welcomed the report.

"NHS Dumfries and Galloway is firmly committed to delivering high standards in relation to our infection control practices and procedures in all our healthcare facilities," he said.

"Having achieved consistently high infection control audit and hygiene performance ratings in recent months, it is disappointing that this latest visit identified a number of challenges for us as we seek to turn that commitment into consistent and reliable performance at all times.

"An action plan has been implemented to address the issues identified in the report and to ensure that the deficiencies highlighted in the report do not re-occur."

Ms Sturgeon said she was pleased to learn the hospital had introduced a series of measures to minimise infection risks.

She added: "However, the inspectors have also highlighted a number of concerns that need to be addressed as a matter of urgency.

"I know that NHS Dumfries and Galloway will now work with the inspectorate to tackle these issues and ensure continued public confidence in our health service."

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