NHS pledge on BGH blood and faeces contamination

Borders General Hospital
Borders General Hospital

Blood and faeces smeared on equipment, commodes and walking aids saw Borders General Hospital fail part of a surprise inspection.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate this week issued its report following an unannounced visit to the BGH over two days in June.

The purpose of the inspection was to assess the progress NHS Borders had made with six requirements and one recommendation arising from previous inspections in the autumn.

But while NHS Borders was deemed to have fully met four of the requirements in relation to the hospital’s sharps management policy; linen management within the Special Care Baby Unit; appropriate storage of breast milk and the enhancement of bathing facilities in Ward 12, and partially met a requirement around full completion of documentation relating to peripheral vascular catheter insertion, it had not met a requirement that all patient equipment be clean and ready for use.

Inspectors examined a range of patient equipment and found blood and faecal contamination in Wards 4 and 12, including to commodes, shower chairs, patient trolleys and bed frames.

Responding, Director of Nursing and Midwifery at 
NHS Borders, Evelyn Rodger, said the findings and photographs of contaminated equipment were completely unacceptable.

“I would like to give my assurance that these were isolated incidents and that immediate action was taken to ensure that these one-off matters remain precisely that,” she said.

“A robust 11-point improvement action plan has been put in place to ensure that all patient equipment is clean and ready for use, and that there is an effective and consistent assurance system in place across the hospital.”

The plan includes an enhanced education and training programme on cleaning frequencies and a sign-off and escalation process.

Several of our readers commented on the story on The Southern’s Facebook page.

Jane Jeffrey remarked: “High time matrons were back running wards. Paperwork is not helping to keep the cleanliness of the hospital up to the high standards it should be – no wonder hospital bugs.”

And Kevin Gallagher commented: “This is not acceptable under any circumstances.”