‘Locked down’ hospital ignores some infection control procedures

The hospital's risk register was not maintained in accordance with national policy

According to the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA), no infection control procedures were followed in the department at a community hospital during a Covid-19 outbreak.

Belmullet Community Hospital, Co Mayo, had been closed for four months when HIQA inspectors visited on July 29th.

Although clear management arrangements were in place to ensure the provision of safe and effective infection prevention and control, as well as antimicrobial control, the hospital's risk registry was not kept in line with national policy, HIQA said.

In a report posted on HIQA's website today (Nov. 6), inspectors said risks that had escalated within the local Community Healthcare Organization (CHO) were not addressed, did not pursue infection prevention and control incidents persecuted and held staff meetings had not been held for five months.

They also found that influenza vaccine uptake in the 2019/2020 flu season was below the national target of 60 percent while cleaning staff had not received formal training.

The hospital was later found to be substantially compliant with two of the national standards for infection prevention and control in nonprofit services, partially compliant with three and not compliant with one standard.

Reports of visits to two other hospitals were also released by the Health Watchdog today.

At St. Patrick's Hospital in Co Waterford, inspectors found that the Health Service Executive / Health Protection Surveillance Center's guidelines regarding the need for patient testing for Covid-19 and isolation after admission from an acute hospital were not being followed were.

HIQA said it had obtained and received assurances that after the inspection, precautions were taken to ensure compliance with national guidelines in the elderly department.

At St. Camillus Hospital in Limerick City, inspectors identified several effective safeguards regarding the standard of hospital hygiene.

"While the antimicrobial stewardship program was developed at St. Camillus Hospital, it needs further development at Belmullet Community Hospital and St. Patrick & # 39; s Hospital," said a HIQA spokesman.

"All hospitals had systems in place to identify and manage risks related to the prevention and control of infections related to healthcare," added the spokesman.

“A variety of systems were used to ensure that environmental and equipment cleaning standards were being followed. It was evident that Belmullet Community Hospital had escalated locally identified risks related to infection prevention and control to CHO2 levels.

“However, HIQA was concerned that such an escalation did not result in a sufficiently timely and reciprocal response, and it was not clear whether escalated risks were being taken at the CHO2 level.

"Local risk registers at Belmullet Community Hospital need to be better managed, reviewed and escalated in line with national policy."

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