THERE IS A “high risk to the health or welfare of patients” in Wexford General Hosptial because of a lack of training in hand hygiene according to a report from the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA).
Hiqa carried out two unannounced inspections at the hospital on 4 March and 17 April of this year and found that hand hygiene audits at the hospital were “considerably lower than the targets set by the HSE”.
One of the wards, St Joseph’s, was found to be “generally unclean” during the first inspection with layers of dust visible on bed frames and equipment with brown splash staining on wall tiles in the shower room.
“While the clean utility room was lockable with a keypad, it was unsecured at the time of the inspection potentially allowing unauthorised access to syringes and hypodermic safety needles,” the report reads.
Although training had been mandatory since May 2013, the report found that only 52% of nurses and health care assistants in one of the clinical areas inspected were up-to-date with hand hygiene training.
The authority was also informed that some recent hand hygiene training had not taken place “due to a lack of resources” and notes that the hospital does not plan to complete hand hygiene training for all staff until the end of 2014.
Clinical risk waste was also was also not properly separated from other waste.
Hiqa was also critical of hand washing at the hospital, outlining that 60% of hand hygiene opportunities were taken during the first inspection at 64% in the second.
The hospital is now required to publish a plan within six weeks of how it intends to becoming fully compliant with HSE requirements,