Hospital bosses smarting over breach

HOW did this happen?That is the question facing Ipswich Hospital bosses after they were handed a notice to improve for breaching hygiene standards.The moral-shattering notice came despite pledging to drastically improve the hospital's record on infection-control.

HOW did this happen?

That is the question facing Ipswich Hospital bosses after they were handed a notice to improve for breaching hygiene standards.

The moral-shattering notice came despite pledging to drastically improve the hospital's record on infection-control.

Super-bugs such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile (C-diff) have caused numerous problems for staff at the Heath Road hospital in the past but recently it has proudly announced it has made huge strides forwards in tackling the infection and keeping cleanliness standards high.

After what the hospital saw as massive strides towards in beating infections Gwen Collins, director of infection prevention and control at Ipswich Hospital, said she felt absolutely devastated at being issued with an improvement notice but added that she still believed the hospital was delivering a high standard of care for patients.

She said: “The staff are very battered emotionally by this. It is awful and it is really shocking to get the notice to improve and we are very sad that we received it.

Most Read

“It will not impact on our drive though and we are determined to meet standards for infection control.”

Mrs Collins said she did not believe any safety concerns had slipped through the hospital's checks but instead that the hospital had misunderstood guidelines which resulted in it being give the notice to improve following the Healthcare Commission's unannounced visit on February 4.

Hospital bosses claim they believed that by working towards the aim of getting rid of all benchtop sterilisers, objects which mean equipment is washed by hand not an automated washing system, would result in it meeting Department of Health guidelines.

But the team from the Healthcare Commission said the four sterilisers still in use in the Ear Nose and Throat Department, Oral Surgery, Critical Care Unit and South Theatres meant the hospital was in breech of the hygiene code.

Prue Rush, spokeswoman for the Ipswich Hospital Public and Patient Involvement forum which monitors the hospital, added: “It is bitterly disappointing because we do know the hospital has implemented all sorts of new regimes to tackle infection control and things have got better.”

A spokesman for Suffolk Primary Care Trust (PCT) said: “Suffolk PCT is satisfied that Ipswich Hospital has responded positively to the improvement notice from the Healthcare Commission.

“We will work closely with them and support them to achieve the improvements required.”

Does more need to be done to tackle infection control at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

Healthcare Commission

The Healthcare Commission is an independent body, set up to promote and drive improvement in the quality of healthcare and public health in England and Wales

The commission regulates and inspects NHS, private and voluntary healthcare providers, reviews complaints about the NHS which have not been resolves, handles complaints about private and voluntary healthcare providers, and investigates serious failures in healthcare

The commission took over the role of the Commission for Health Improvement (CHI) from April 2004 and also assumed some of the responsibilities of the National Care Standards Commission (NCSC) and the Audit Commission

From April 2009 the commission should merge with the Commission for Social Care Inspection and the Mental Health Act Commission to create a single, integrated regulator for health and adult social care called the Care Quality Commission