An NHS trust has been told to clean up its act after inspectors found blood stains on a bedrail and filthy commodes, it was revealed yesterday.
Brockingham Hospitals NHS Trust was served with an improvement notice in tackling infections after the Healthcare Commission made two unannounced visits last month. It found the North London trust was 'failing in its duty to provide and maintain a clean and appropriate environment for healthcare'.
Commission chief executive Anna Craig said,
"In all my time working within the health field I have never seen such poor standards of hygiene in a state hospital. Reports of dirty toilets is just the tip of the iceberg. One Brockingham resident, who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of repraisals, told me that she saw a rat in a kitchen area designated for patient use. Moreover she said that when she reported this to the ward manager he seemed totally unconcerned stating that, and I quote, 'Oh that will be Roland'…..I couldn't believe it. They'd only gone and named the fucking thing!"
However it is a written statement from retired Orthopaedic surgeon, Mr David Young, that will possibly cause most embarrassment to the beleagured heath trust.
In an article to be published in the British Journal of Medicine next month Young states,
"In all my time working for the NHS I have never come across conditions such as those that existed at Brockingham Hospitals. I could spend literally hours cataloguing events that took place during my employment there. On one occasion I actually had to suspend hip surgery for 30 minutes whilst the porters ushered out a stray dog from the operating theatre. When you have seen a Chihuahua and Jack Russell cross jump onto the chest of an anaesthetised patient and bite a fellow surgeon on the arm you know it is time to speak out."
The chairman of Brockingham NHS Health Trust, Sir Alan Maynard, was unavailable for comment. It was left to his secretary Miss Alice Maynard to release this press statement.
"Sir Alan is aware that hygiene standards are a cause for concern. However he would like to dispute a recent newspaper article claiming that 'nursing staff and ambulent patients were choosing to take their chances behind bushes and trees rather than risk the hospital toilets.' He does acknowledge however that the health authority may well need to tighten up it's cleaning contracts."
It has yet to be confirmed whether or not Sir Alan chose the 'outdoor option' himself during a board meeting on December 19th 2007.