Hygiene rebuke for five hospitals
Five hospitals have been given bad reports for failing to maintain proper standards of hygiene by the country's top health watchdog.
While hand hygiene was found to be an issue across the board, South Tipperary General and Connolly Hospital, Blanchardstown, were warned about leaving patients with communicable diseases in corridors or A&E units for long periods.
Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, the Mid-Western Regional Maternity, Limerick and Portiuncula in Ballinasloe were also found to pose risks during inspections by the Health Information and Quality Authority (Hiqa).
Phelim Quinn, Hiqa's director of regulation, said some immediate serious risks to patients were identified.
"These included the inappropriate accommodation of emergency department patients with communicable/transmissible diseases," he said.
"These kinds of deficits are not acceptable and required immediate action on the part of clinical and management staff concerned when Hiqa's officers were on site."
Details of the lack of hygiene and risk of hospital acquired infections were contained in reports from 12 unannounced assessments.
The Hiqa inspection reports revealed Tipperary was found to have an immediate and serious health risk as patients with communicable diseases were being kept on a main corridor next to A&E which is used as a main thoroughfare from the main hospital building. Management were told: "This practice is not acceptable and should cease immediately."
Hiqa found Portiuncula overall had serious risks of infections for patients, with a low level of hand hygiene compliance. The report found "many opportunities for improvement" but did not identify any immediate serious risks to the health and welfare of patients.
Our Lady's Children's Hospital, Crumlin, was found to be generally unclean in all clinical areas with the exception of A&E.