Inspectors warn St John’s to clean up its act at A&E

St John's Hospital main entrance
St John's Hospital main entrance

Health inspectors ordered immediate action after discovering sub-standard levels of cleanliness within the Accident and Emergency unit at Livingston’s St John’s Hospital.

The inspectors swooped on August 20 and 21 this year and found trolley beds contaminated with body fluids, damaged mattress covers and stained mattresses.

Overhead inspection lamps were also contaminated with blood and dust.

And there was blood contamination on walls and the under-surface of worktops and on “sharps” bins.

The inspection team relayed its findings to the senior charge nurse and senior management with NHS Lothian on August 21.

A follow-up inspection six days later revealed significant improvements.

Susan Brimelow, Healthcare Environment Inspectorate chief inspector, said: “Our inspection found evidence St John’s Hospital is complying with the majority of infection prevention and control standards to protect patients, staff and visitors from acquiring an infection.

“The hospital environment was clean and we observed good staff compliance with sharps management and hand hygiene practices.

“However, we did identify areas where improvements are needed.

“We noted mixed compliance with dress code policy among staff and found a poor standard of cleanliness in accident and emergency.

“We requested immediate action and re-visited the department on August 27.

“We found then that the standard of cleanliness had significantly improved.

“This inspection resulted in four requirements and three recommendations which NHS Lothian must now address as a matter of priority.”

Sarah Ballard-Smith, of NHS Lothian, said: “We welcome the report and we are pleased some areas were singled out for praise, including the cleanliness of the general hospital, good sharps management and hand hygiene practices.

“We recognise there are things that can be improved and they were addressed as a matter of urgency.

“One area was rectified immediately and this was proven by the subsequent visit by inspectors.”