PicA ‘Immediate serious risks’ to the health and welfare of patients were discovered  during an unannounced inspection at Waterford Regional Hospital (WRH) earlier  this summer.
The hygiene inspection report from the Health Information Quality Authority  (HIQA), carried out at WRH’s Emergency Department, Surgical 7 and Medical 2  wards on June 25th, also reported other poor practices at the hospital.
The WRH report was one of five hospital hygiene reports published last Friday by  HIQA on its website.
Non-compliance of hand hygiene practice in the recently expanded and refurbished Emergency Department was cited as posing the most immediate risk to patient health.
Although isolation rooms were available, a patient with a suspected communicable infection was discovered to have been placed in a bay in the main area of the Emergency Department during the inspection. One isolation room was used as a storeroom, while another was used for Ear, Nose and Throat consultations.
The environment was unclean; emergency supplies of needles, syringes and medications were stored on an unsecured trolley on a main corridor.
Inspectors brought the immediate hand hygiene risk to the attention of the hospital’s general manager to allow the hospital take action as a matter of urgency and notified the HSE.
Overall, the Authority found that the environment and equipment in areas assessed were generally unclean, placing patients at significant risk.