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Highland Life / News / NHS Highland / Hospital Environment Inspectorate report for Caithness General Hospital published

Hospital Environment Inspectorate report for Caithness General Hospital published

Issued: 16 Aug 2010

NHS Highland welcomes the publication of the HEI (Hospital Environment Inspectorate) report for Caithness General Hospital in Wick, which was published today.

The HEI carried out an announced visit to Caithness General in July and found the overall standard of cleanliness within the hospital is good. Staff were able to demonstrate examples of good practice and there is a good level of communication between infection control staff and their colleagues throughout the hospital.

It is important to NHS Highland Board that, given the general public concern about hospital associated infections that all Highland hospitals are able to give assurance about the way that the clinical areas are kept safe and clean for patients. The Inspectors were impressed with our audit and surveillance of healthcare associated infections with senior charge nurses having a good awareness of the audit results for their individual areas.

Carena MacIvor, Lead Nurse for North Highland Community Health Partnership (CHP) said: “We are pleased with the overall report for Caithness General Hospital. Clearly we have taken action on the findings in the maternity unit. The cleaning issues were addressed the day of the inspection and systems are in placed to ensure that the ward is kept clean at all times. The other issues identified have all been addressed.”

“We accept all of the requirements and recommendations contained within the report and work is well underway on the areas where improvement is indicated. We know that the ‘real’ test in terms of achieving consistently high standards will be when the Inspectorate team return unannounced in the future, but I have every confidence that the team will be able to demonstrate further improvement in standards on an ongoing basis.”

Keeping hospitals clean, uncluttered and in good repair helps reduce the transmission of infection, and so it is important that standards of cleaning and repair are continually monitored. Caithness General and all other hospitals across Highland are subject to regular internal cleaning inspections where there is a requirement for all areas to reach minimum standards of cleanliness.

Regular hand washing audits are also carried out across Highland to check on technique and compliance, with the results published on the ward areas for all to see.

Heidi May, Nurse Director for NHS Highland said:

"NHS Highland is very pleased that the Health Care Environment Inspectorate reported a positive visit to Caithness General Hospital. There were lots of examples of good practice in their report, like clear and effective communication between infection control and ward staff and the strong public involvement programme in Caithness General and the North Highland CHP. We were praised for posting up signs at each of the ward entrances indicating the wards latest hand hygiene result and the number of days since the last healthcare associated infection. We have focused on improvement in those areas identified by the HEI.”

NHS Highland welcomes the introduction of the Inspectorate, and will continue to strive to ensure that all of the hospitals across Highland reach and maintain their required high standards.

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme