The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI), which is part of Healthcare Improvement Scotland, last week published its report relating to an unannounced inspection of Western Isles Hospital.
The inspectors state: "We carried out an unannounced inspection to Western Isles Hospital on Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16 September 2015.
"This was the first inspection of the hospital against the new Healthcare Improvement Scotland Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) Standards (February 2015).
"Before carrying out this inspection, we reviewed NHS Western Isles self-assessment and previous Western Isles Hospital inspection reports. This informed our decision on which standards to focus on during this inspection.
"We focused on:
Standard 1: Leadership in the prevention and control of infection
Standard 6: Infection prevention and control policies, procedures and guidance
Standard 7: Insertion and maintenance of invasive devices, and
Standard 8: Decontamination.
"We inspected the following areas: the accident and emergency department; medical ward 1; medical ward 2 (medical receiving/acute admissions); and the maternity ward."
The inspectors found: "The ward environment was clean.
"All patient equipment inspected was clean."
And there was "good staff compliance with standard infection control precautions (SICPs).
Under the heading "What the hospital could do better", the inspectors said:
"NHS Western Isles must develop a policy for handling and storing breast milk."
Neil Galbraith, NHS Western Isles chairman, said: “The Board takes a close interest in maintaining the standards of cleanliness within our hospitals because of the high correlation with patient safety.
“ The Board welcomes the Inspection findings which largely corroborate the Western Isles Hospital's own self-assessment report and provide the external reassurance that our cleanliness and anti-infection regimes are being effective.
“The Board notes the one requirement emerging from the inspection and will look to have the policy paper produced, and related practice brought into being, with immediate effect.”
Speaking of the report, Jacqui Macrae, Head of Quality of Care for Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “This was a good inspection in which we found that the ward environment and all patient equipment we inspected was clean.
"We also saw good staff compliance with standard infection control precautions. The inspection resulted in one requirement relating to the need for NHS Western Isles to develop a policy for handling and storing breast milk. We expect NHS Western Isles to address this requirement and will continue to monitor the standard of safety and cleanliness at Western Isles Hospital to ensure standards continue to improve.”
The report was very much welcomed by staff.
Janice Mackay, Interim Manager / Advanced Practitioner for Infection Prevention and Control, said: “I was personally delighted with the inspection as it recognises all the hard work over the years between the infection prevention and control team (IPCT) and the staff of the Western Isles Hospital, which we as a team have always appreciated. This was also evident in conversations between the Inspectors and staff on the ward who spoke of the good working relationship between the ward staff and the IPCT.
“The report states they found the level of environmental cleanliness very good across all the wards inspected, and that there was evidence of good compliance with the 10 standard infection control precautions which minimises the spread of infection. "
The full HEI inspection report is available to view on this website