Hospital unclean

A HEALTH watchdog has branded an Ipswich day hospital for some of the county's most vulnerable patients as unacceptably dirty.Minsmere House, in the grounds of Ipswich Hospital, has been criticised months after The Evening Star revealed appalling conditions at the facility earlier this year.

A HEALTH watchdog has branded an Ipswich day hospital for some of the county's most vulnerable patients as unacceptably dirty.

Minsmere House, in the grounds of Ipswich Hospital, has been criticised months after The Evening Star revealed appalling conditions at the facility earlier this year.

The Healthcare Commission report, released yesterday, looked at the hospitals between July and early September.

Visual checks were carried out on items such as curtains, beds, sinks, blood pressure monitors and bedpans during the unannounced visits.


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Hospitals were put into different hygiene categories - band one was for the cleanest, band four for those in urgent need of improvement.

The day hospital at Minsmere House was placed in the lowest band with a rating of just 45 per cent. It had an “unacceptably dirty environment.”

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Back in February, a fed up health worker provided the Star which shocking photos of Minsmere House, which also has inpatient areas.

Alan Staff, a director of the Suffolk Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, said the day hospital moved in October to a new site at St Clement's Hospital and that cleaning contracts have been reviewed to increase cleaning time.

He said that since February, basic maintenance, refurbishment and decoration has been done but that the trust intends to get rid of the whole unit and replace it with new facilities.

He said: “Obviously we hope that, despite all the challenges, we have managed to maintain a good standard of cleanliness. Our staff are trying to keep up with high standards of cleanliness within a very difficult environment.

“Most of the areas they failed (across the country) are mental health units, which isn't surprising really. They tend to be under-resourced, older and don't tend to be inpatient areas.”

He added that inpatient areas in Minsmere House were inspected, but not criticised.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds was also visited and given a rating of 86pc, which means it is in band two -not seriously dirty but having a “general shabbiness”.

Across the country, there were 33 hospitals rated in band one, 43 in band two, 16 in band three and six in band four, with the data from one inspection rendered useless because of a computer problem.

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