NHS Western Isles has welcomed the recent report by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, following an unannounced safe and clean inspection visit to Western Isles Hospital.

The inspection of Western Isles Hospital took place on July 15 and 16, and the report was published on Tuesday September 24th.

The inspection team visited the hospital to meet patients and staff, inspect wards, assess cleanliness and to check that the hospital meets national standards.

Feedback from patients was particularly encouraging, with all patients interviewed during the visit stating that the ‘standard of cleanliness on the ward is always good’ and ‘the equipment used by staff is always clean’.

All patients thought that toilets, showers and bedroom areas were kept very clean, and regarded the cleaning routine as very thorough.

What NHS Western Isles did particularly well

  • There was good staff compliance and knowledge of standard infection control precautions.
  • The standard of domestic cleaning was good.
  • Feedback from patients was positive.

What they could do better:

  • The recording of staff training.
  • Cleanliness and maintenance of patient equipment.

Inspectors found that ward staff had a good level of knowledge and understanding of the various standard infection control precautions. The management of patients who were in isolation for infection prevention and control reasons was also reported as ‘good’, and inspectors noted that each area carried out monthly standard infection control precaution audits, which includes hand hygiene and ward cleanliness.

In all wards inspected, all patients spoken to said that nursing staff always cleaned their hands before attending to them and wore disposable gloves and aprons as appropriate. Patients meanwhile reported that assistance for cleaning their hands was readily available when requested.

he standard of environmental cleanliness was also found to be good and the storage areas were generally clean and tidy with items stored off the floor.

Inspectors noted that each patient bed space had a cleaning schedule in place which included cleaning and checking of mattresses. These were seen to be completed, however, inspectors noted that some of the mattresses needed replaced.

NHS Western Isles can confirm that all mattresses identified as requiring replacement during the visit have since been replaced and there is an ongoing rolling programme in place to replace mattresses.

NHS Western Isles Chief Executive, Gordon Jamieson, said: “NHS Western Isles welcomes this report, which highlights positive feedback from patients, a good standard of domestic cleaning and good staff compliance and knowledge of infection control precautions. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff for their hard work and dedication to ensure standards of safety and cleanliness are continually high.

“We also welcome the opportunities for improvement highlighted, and I’m pleased to report that we have already addressed the vast majority of actions in our action plan.”

Ian Smith, Head of Quality of Care, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said:  “During our inspection we found good staff compliance and knowledge of infection control precautions, and the standard of domestic cleaning was good.

"However, NHS Western Isles must ensure equipment and mattresses are safe and clean, and must improve the recording of staff training.”

The full inspection report is available to view at: