The cleanliness of Scotland’s biggest hospital is being hampered by a mounting list of repairs.
An inspection of Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital (QEUH) was ordered after the death of two patients were linked to a pigeon dropping infection.
Traces of excrement had been found in a room where there was a small break in the wall.
The report was published following an unannounced safety and cleanliness inspection visit to the NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) facility.
Healthcare Improvement Scotland found that 300 repair jobs were waiting to be done, but there was no evidence of a plan to complete them. It also said the emergency department had not been properly cleaned.
The unannounced inspection was carried out at the request of cabinet secretary for health and wellbeing, Jeane Freeman, and will help to inform the Scottish Government’s wider independent review into QEUH.
The inspection team inspected 27 wards throughout the main Queen Elizabeth University Hospital building.
Alastair Delaney, director of quality assurance at Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “Inspectors found areas of good practice in relation to infection control.
“However, there were also areas of concern, such as developing a strategy to ensure the hospital environment and patient equipment in the emergency department is clean and ready for use, and that any estates and facilities issues around repairs and maintenance are carried out to ensure infection prevention and control can be maintained.
“Following our inspection, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have developed an action plan and must address the areas which require improvement as a matter of priority.”
Jane Grant, NHSGGC chief executive, said: “I welcome today’s report from Healthcare Improvement Scotland into the recent inspection of the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children.
“The report contains a number of positive findings, including good staff awareness of infection control and high levels of hand hygiene compliance. The inspectors have also confirmed that infection rates are within acceptable levels.
“The report has, however, highlighted a number of areas that we need to address. Work is already underway to action the requirements and recommendation that Healthcare Improvement Scotland have identified.
“Patients should be assured that the prevention and control of infection has always been, and remains, a top priority for NHSGGC.
“Infection rates in the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital and the Royal Hospital for Children are low – lower than the average rate of infection in Scotland’s hospitals.
“For further reassurance on infection control we asked Health Protection Scotland to carry out a detailed review of our infection performance compared to similar large hospitals over the past three years. Their findings confirmed that at no time during this period did infection rates at QEUH and RHC exceed expected levels.
“Our highly dedicated staff are committed to quality care and patient safety and we are determined to ensure that our hospitals are clean and as safe as they can be for our patients.”