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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 June, 2004, 12:13 GMT 13:13 UK
'Dirty' hospital staff suspended
Dried stains on the wall
The investigation revealed old stains ground into walls and floors
Three staff members at a Kent hospital have been suspended following an undercover BBC operation which revealed poor hygiene standards.

A South East Today reporter worked for the in-house cleaning team at the Kent and Sussex Hospital and filmed clinical waste piling up in public corridors.

A blood-stained gown was shown to be left on a trolley for 24 hours and used instruments left in a sink for a day.

A spokesperson from the Tunbridge Wells hospital said an inquiry was under way.

Some cleaners, who are employed by the Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Health Trust, were also filmed taking extended tea breaks and routinely leaving work early.

Dust found under medical equipment

Food left in a fridge used by patients was found to be so mouldy it was unrecognisable and a dustpan and brush was needed to clean dirt from a window ledge in an operating theatre.

Professor Hugh Pennington, a leading microbiologist saw the footage and said: "It's been scandalously easy to find major deficiencies in this hospital.

"It's a dirty hospital, it's the worst I have ever seen.

"It's putting the lives of patients and staff at risk."

He said the hospital, which is used by people living in north Sussex and west Kent, was not even clean by domestic standards.

Improvements planned

Rose Gibb, the newly appointed chief executive of Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells Trust, was shown the footage.

In response she said: "I accept that the hospital has standards that are poor. I acknowledge that, I have made that clear to my board.

"We're investing, we are making radical changes, it takes time to get sustained improvement, and I will not stop until I get the standards that I believe the population deserves.

"I would be admitted to that hospital because the clinical care that one receives is fantastic.

"The clinical outcomes are good despite the environment, despite the fabric and despite the fact that we have a group of staff who are at the moment not adhering to policy at the moment.

"But even that has improved dramatically and it will improve until we get the right compliance."

Secret film of 'dirty' hospital
13 Jun 04  |  England
Broken lifts 'disrupt morgue'
21 Jan 04  |  Kent


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