University Hospitals Group has responded to this week's Hiqa report into Nenagh Hospital which criticised infection control and the Nenagh facility.
Welcoming the report, UHG said it was committed to working with Hiqa on meeting the National Standards for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare-Associated Infections.
In a statement, the group said that it acknowledged the shortcomings identified in the report around IP&C resourcing; shortage of isolation facilities and other infrastructural challenges; and the configuration of and practices in the Infusion Centre.
The group said that it was addressing the issues through a quality improvement plan developed subsequent to the Hiqa inspection.
It said that among the measures the group had taken and has planned to take are: four new hygiene attendants have started work in Nenagh since the inspection; a hygiene supervisor will be appointed in Nenagh in 2018 and it is also planned to increase the onsite presence of IP&C personnel as highlighted in the report; the regular hand hygiene training schedule continues with 50 further staff trained since the inspection; a training programme for staff in relation to prevention and control of health care associated infection continues on alternate weeks, and isolation capacity will increase in early 2018 with the opening of a 16-bed single room inpatient block.
In respect of the Infusion Centre, a review has taken place subsequent to the inspection and the layout has been changed, a plan is in place to progress a separate clean utility space in 2018 when the Medical Assessment Unit relocates to the ground floor, and the practice of sharing medication vials has ceased in the Infusion Centre. The practices around cleaning IV trays and preparing IV medication have changed following a recent training programme.
“Every time such a report is published it is an opportunity for us to continue to improve,” said group CEO Prof Colette Cowan.
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