Mayo General Hospital found to be ‘generally clean’ in HIQA inspection

An unannounced assessment of Mayo General Hospital by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA ) found that the hospital is generally clean but there are some improvements to be made in t he area of hand hygiene.

The female medical ward, female surgical ward, and maternity wards were inspected on January 8 last between 8.45am and 11.30am.

The authority found that all clinical areas observed in Mayo General Hospital were generally clean bar a few exceptions and commented: “During the course of the monitoring assessment, the authority did not identify any immediate serious risks to the health and welfare of patients receiving care at Mayo General Hospital”.

The purpose of the unannounced monitoring assessment was to assess the hygiene as experienced by patients at any given time.

HIQA found that the cleanliness of the physical environment was well managed according to relevant national guidelines and said the level of cleanliness observed would suggest that the physical environment was effectively managed and maintained to protect service users and reduce the spread of healthcare associated infections (HCAI ).

HIQA also found that endeavours were made to put the necessary procedures and systems in place for hand hygiene at Mayo General Hospital. However, the hand hygiene practices observed by the authority would suggest that a culture of hand hygiene best practice is not operationally embedded at all levels.

“This poses a serious risk to patients and hand hygiene best practice must be implemented in order to reduce/eliminate this risk,” the report stated.

The hospital must now prioritise the implementation of hand hygiene best practice in the interests of reducing risk of HCAIs to service users.The hospital now has a six week deadline to develop a quality improvement plan that prioritises the changes necessary to fully comply with the national standards for the prevention and control of HCAIs. The plan must be published by the hospital on its web page on the HSE website.

HIQA is the independent authority established to drive continuous improvement in Ireland’s health and personal social care services, monitor the safety and quality of these services and promote person-centred care for the benefit of the public, reporting to the Minister of Health.

Mayo General Hospital provides care for 123,000 people in the county. It has 306 inpatient beds, an annual budget of €75 million and employs 1,200 staff.

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