The NHS foundation trust responsible for two of the UK’s largest teaching hospitals has been working hard to improve its services after a review from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) in June placed it in special measures.
Significant decline of services and leadership over the past two years at the St George’s and Queen Mary’s hospitals puts the 1.3 million people that fall under their care at risk.
Various concerns were flagged up during the inspection, and the interim trust chairman Sir David Henshaw is clear about the challenge posed: ‘there will be no quick fix to the problems we face.’
Room for improvement
The CQC gave an overall inadequate rating after finding several issues, including poorly maintained buildings and operating theatres, unsatisfactory training for staff working with children and an insufficient emergency department.
Although the trust immediately started improving services after receiving the grading, it’ll take time to rebuild standards.
One of the trickiest problems raised by the report for St George’s Hospital is poor infection control.
The importance of infection control
Hospitals and care homes are an ideal breeding ground for superbugs and life-threatening germs at the best of times, as new research which shows that even scrubs can spread antibiotic-resistant bacteria proves.
Poor standards only increase the likelihood of a devastating outbreak of disease.
With water contamination and unchecked germs posing a serious threat to the safety of patients undergoing treatment at St George’s and St Mary’s, it’s urgent that strategic and effective practises for infection control are put in place.
How to keep standards high
As with all our clients, we would recommend that the trust employs a mixture of tactics to maintain a hygienic and safe environment:
- Education: ensuring that everyone – both new starts and long-serving employees – are aware of the risks, and fully understand the importance of safety measures.
- Hand hygiene: promoting hygiene can help limit the spread of infections, and can be as simple as keeping your washroom facilities up to par with the latest hand dryers.
- Waste management: the separation of medical waste is essential for controlling potentially toxic materials, as is properly disposing of waste.
To find out more about how our services in hygiene and waste management will allow you to successfully handle infection control at your practice, explore the rest of our site or get in touch.