Connolly Hospital Fails Hygiene Audit

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Doctors bribed with parking permits to do basic hygiene training.

The Health Information and Quality Authority Hygiene audit found Connolly Hospital to be only partially compliant with the National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated
Poor hygiene and hand washing practices cause infections and deaths in our hospitals. One of our fears going into hospital is becoming infected with deadly Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) such as MRSA and clostridium difficile. While the HIQA auditors found that there was a proactive infection prevention and control programme at Connolly Hospital they also had a number of very serious concerns.
It is surprising that basic hand hygiene is still an issue in a major hospital such as Connolly. Only half of the staff have received the mandatory infection prevention and control (IPC) training, which includes hand hygiene practice (573 of 1017 staff had attended the mandatory standards precautions training up to end of October 2012).

Doctors in particular seem to think they are above all this. While the audit team found a 97% attendance rate for the training, the Hospital reported that the high attendance rate for doctors was in part as a result of the initiative to withhold parking permits until training was completed.

One gets the impression that many doctors did the training just to get the parking permit as their compliance rate in hygiene practice was only 65% compared to 88% for all other staff. On the day of the audit only half of those observed were found to comply with best practice hand hygiene technique. This is really disappointing.

The recent report of the Special Delivery Unit into Connolly Hospital was particularly critical of the Emergency Department and the lack clinical leadership there. The HIQA audit mentions a number of issues they believed may have presented immediate serious risks to the health or welfare of patients in ED.

On the day of their announced visit a patient with a known transmissible disease was being cared for in a cubicle in the ED for over 30 hours. The cubicle opened directly to a corridor where other sick and vulnerable patients were being cared for posing a potential risk of spread of the infection.

In another area the cleaning process in the room of a patient with a known communicable/transmissible infection did not comply with hygiene standards.

Connolly Hospital must now develop a quality improvement plan (QIP) that prioritises the improvements necessary to fully comply with the National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections. This QIP must be approved by the service provider’s identified individual who has the overall executive accountability, responsibility and authority for the delivery of high quality, safe and reliable services. The QIP must be published by the Hospital on its webpage on the Health Service Executive (HSE) website within six weeks of the date of publication of this report.

HIQA Reports

HSE Response re. HIQA Inspection Report of Connolly Hospital

In line with the recommendations of HIQA, Connolly Hospital has developed and implemented an Action Plan to reduce and actively manage the risks identified following the HIQA Inspection. Any risk identified that required immediate action was addressed by Connolly Hospital straight away. Connolly Hospital is committed to providing a quality and safe service for all patients and this is a high priority for the Hospital Management Team.

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