Bristol Children's Hospital told to improve cleanliness

Bristol Royal Hospital for Children
Image caption The hospital has been given until 3 January to report back to the CQC on the action it will take

Bristol Children's Hospital has been told it needs to improve cleanliness standards in its operating department.

Inspectors who visited the hospital last month have published a report calling for action to improve cleanliness and infection controls.

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) said it carried out the unannounced visit in response to concerns raised.

Hospital chiefs said they were "very disappointed" by the findings and were already working on an action plan.

The deputy chief executive said building work going on at the hospital for more than a year had created "challenges".

Infection control

The report highlighted two areas over which action was needed and the hospital was given until 3 January to report back to the CQC.

They were:

  • Cleanliness and infection control - "minor impact", according to the CQC
  • Assessing and monitoring the quality of service provision - "moderate impact", according to the CQC

The report said the hospital had procedures in place to maintain a hygienic environment but the standard of cleaning was not consistent across the operating department.

It also said good practice was "not always followed" in relation to infection control.

Regarding the second of the two issues, the CQC said safety risks to patients and staff within the operating department were not being effectively identified and managed in all areas.

An example given in the report was fire doors being kept open by trolleys, drip poles and cardboard boxes blocking doorways.

'Highest standards'

Deborah Lee, deputy chief executive of University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust, said the building work had created specific challenges relating to the cleanliness of the department.

"We are very disappointed by these findings by the CQC and have already begun work to develop an action plan that ensures high standards relating to good housekeeping are consistently maintained within the operating theatres of the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and that specific attention is paid to assessing the impact of any proposed building or other work," she said.

"Builders have been working at the hospital for over a year to build a new extension to house additional specialist paediatric services which will transfer to the Children's Hospital in spring next year when Frenchay Hospital closes.

"Despite the burden this inevitably brings it is essential that we maintain the highest standards and our action plan will ensure that we reach and maintain these."

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