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Borders hospital improves after poor inspection on cleanliness

Borders hospital improves after poor inspection on cleanliness

A Borders hospital which was found to have hygiene issues in May has passed its latest unannounced inspection.

In May inspectors found staff in the theatre department at Borders General Hospital outside Melrose were not cleaning hands enough and failing to discard personal protective equipment like surgical masks. The report also noted there were no hand hygiene dispensers between changing rooms and anaesthetic rooms.

Operating theatres were not cleaned adequately, inspectors found.

In a report this week, the follow-up inspection noted NHS Borders had met all seven requirements set by The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI).


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“We noted a marked improvement within the theatre department. We found the theatre environment was clean, and good staff knowledge on blood and body fluid spillage management,” inspectors said.

Director of Nursing, Midwifery & Acute Services at NHS Borders, Evelyn Rodger, said the process had been a learning experience.

“As an organisation we responded immediately to the findings from the initial unannounced inspection and put in place a robust improvement plan which included the review of cleaning methods and documentation,” she said, adding staff had been on a new training programme.

Meanwhile another Borders hospital has closed its inpatient ward to new admissions due to an outbreak of vomiting bug norovirus, which is spread through contamination and person to person contact.

The situation at Kelso Hospital is being monitored and managed by NHS Borders Infection Prevention and Control Team.

Alasdair Pattinson, General Manager for Primary and Community Services said: “In order to safeguard vulnerable patients and support our efforts to limit the spread of this highly infectious virus, we continue to ask members of the public to carefully consider their visits to community hospitals and the Borders General Hospital.”

Several wards in the Borders were closed to norovirus outbreaks last winter, and Health Protection Scotland (HPS) last week announced that there has been an increase in levels of norovirus across Scotland this year.

Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer Fiona McQueen said the Scottish Government monitor the outbreaks.

“Temporarily suspending visiting to affected wards allows infection prevention and control teams to monitor the situation and also reduce, as much as possible, the chance of norovirus being passed onto a relative or loved one or transferred between patients and visitors”.

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