UK: Improvements Needed In Hospital Hygiene

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The Health Minister has welcomed the publication of the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority (RQIA) reports of their unannounced hospital hygiene inspections.

The inspections are part of the ?9million package of measures to tackle healthcare associated infections which Michael McGimpsey announced in January. Other measures announced by the Minister at that time include restrictions on hospital visiting, single rooms, a dress code for health care staff and MRSA screening for high risk patients.

The Minister said: “The publication of these reports today emphasises the importance that I place on driving through improved standards.

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“The inspections will challenge hygiene practice in our hospitals at ward level on a regular basis and inform the actions that Trusts now need to take to address the identified shortcomings”

While many of the findings in the reports are encouraging, the Minister said it also showed that more was needed to be done to ensure that high standards are sustained in the fight against hospital associated infections.

He said: “I am confident that we can continue to improve hygiene standards and raise public confidence in the quality of care provided by our hospitals.

“Trusts have already addressed much of the RQIA recommendations and the rolling programme of RQIA inspections will ensure that progress is sustained.

“Staff are working hard to stop the spread of hospital infections and no one should be concerned about using our hospitals. We all have a part to play by ensuring that when we visit a hospital we strictly observe the hygiene standards and we strictly respect visiting policies.”

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