HIQA audit highlights need for on-going monitoring of hygiene
Six patients every day are being treated in our hospital for the superbugs MRSA and Clostridium difficile claims Denis Naughten TD.
In the first 6 months of 2012, 128 cases of MRSA and 939 cases of C. difficile were identified in hospital laboratories throughout the country. These infections can cause serious, even fatal, complications for patients, as well as placing a significant financial burden on the health services due to the increased resources required to treat these infections.
While significant progress has been made in dealing with MRSA, it seems that Clostridium difficile remains stubbornly high, and the fear is that other less well known superbugs will become the headline infections of tomorrow unless there is a root and branch overhaul of hospital hygiene.
The publication by HIQA of its hospital hygiene audits this morning again raises the question ‘should patients be fearful for their safety in hospitals because enough importance is not being given to the issue of hospital hygiene?’
In response the report, Denis Naughten said; “I believe that the failure to have on-going monitoring of hospital hygiene is compounding the problem of healthcare associated infections. If hygiene is not measured, is it important to those who make the decisions on the allocation of hospital budgets?”
“The Government must ensure that there are on-going, unannounced inspections of hospitals with published results to ensure that hygiene standards are being maintained. This is standard practice in other industries and it is simply unacceptable that such standards are not applied to our hospitals, where hygiene can be the difference between life and death” concluded Denis Naughten.