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Hospitals struggle with hygiene

18th June 2007

Information submitted to the Healthcare Commission shows that NHS trusts in England are having difficulty meeting essential hygiene targets.

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The health service sets 24 NHS standards and the trusts submit data to show if they are meeting targets. This information is then used to help define the trusts' NHS rating. 25% of trusts say they are not meeting one of the three standards defined by the hygiene code.

The new information showed 40% of trusts met all NHS standards - a rise of 6% from 2006. Trusts performed best in areas covering professional codes of practice, whistle-blowing and openness.

However, standards relating to hygiene had decreased. 14% of trusts said they had not reduced the risk of infection - a rise of 7% since last year. One in ten trusts also failed to meet targets for cleanliness. The data shows that 99 of the 394 trusts in England fail to meet standards laid down by the hygiene code.

The Healthcare Commission will now begin to check the data against its own information and by carrying out inspections.

Gill Morgan, chief executive of the NHS Confederation, said that trusts recognised the need to improve and were "taking the important steps towards delivering excellence for patients."

Graham Tanner, chairman of the National Concern for Healthcare Infections, disagreed: "In any other walk of life this flagrant breach of safety would result in chief executives being brought to account. Yet when patients' lives are at risk there is a paralysis within government."


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Article Information

Title: Hospitals struggle with hygiene
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3165
Date Added: 18th Jun 2007

Sources

BBC News

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