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Wards given clean bill of health

PUBLISHED: 01:05 14 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:39 03 March 2010

WARDS at Ipswich Hospital have been given a clean bill of health by external assessors.

Members of the patient environment assessment teams visited random wards at the hospital earlier this year checking out cleanliness, tidiness and presentation and deemed them to be of a good standard.

WARDS at Ipswich Hospital have been given a clean bill of health by external assessors.

Members of the patient environment assessment teams visited random wards at the hospital earlier this year checking out cleanliness, tidiness and presentation and deemed them to be of a good standard.

Top marks were given to the hospital in five areas including internal decoration in common areas, smells in common areas, furniture on the wards and support service staff in common areas and on wards.

However although most wards were found to have a high level of cleanliness, two unnamed older wards were said to have been a let down and a corridor in the Westerfield Wing was being used as an office.

The results of the checks carried out in February have been revealed just two weeks after Ipswich sisters Eve Rumsby and Jenny Townes claimed in The Evening Star that their 88-year-old father Ernie Smith died as a result of filthy conditions at the Heath Road hospital.

His daughters claimed that Mr Smith picked up a hospital infection called clostridium difficile on the ward during his stay in April when he had been admitted for a routine kidney stone operation.

The hospital strongly denied that the wards were dirty, but signs are now being put up around the building for anything visitors and patients believe to be below standard, such as dirty toilets, to be pointed out to the right members of staff so they can be dealt with.

The marking system from the assessment runs on a scale of one to four with one meaning poor and four excellent.

Assessors were given a number of things to look out for such as equipment being stored out of sight and spillages being dealt with effectively outside of routine cleaning periods.

Smells on wards and in common places were taken into account along with visitor toilets and internal cleanliness and tidiness on wards.

The hospital was pleased with the results of the assessment and a spokeswoman for the hospital said that there was a rolling programme to improve the older wards, some of which originally date back to when the site was a Victorian asylum.

But improvements could take some time as the wards are so busy, she said: "In particular we are trying to bring the bathrooms and toilets up to date.

"We have to work it very carefully and can't expect patients to walk long distances to use the bathroom or toilet, so we can't do it as quickly as we would like to.

"Even though the wards are very clean, in the older wards the fabric is older and so it does not look as clean."

She added that in Westerfield Wing there were a lot of older patients and space was very scarce which is why there was an office in the corridor.

Some emergency equipment such as medical gas cylinder trolleys were also being stored on wards because of lack of space but the spokeswoman said that there was no danger to patients as non-clinicians would not know how to work them.

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