Page last updated at 16:07 GMT, Thursday, 12 February 2009

Hospital cleanliness criticised

Royal Cornwall Hospital
The RCHT has been told to improve its standards of cleanliness

The standard of cleanliness at one of Cornwall's main hospitals has been criticised in a report by the Healthcare Commission.

The health watchdog carried out an unannounced inspection of the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Treliske, near Truro, in November.

It found the hospital was breaching its duty to provide a "clean and appropriate" healthcare environment.

The hospital said improvements had been made since the inspection.

Cleanliness 'shortfalls'

The Royal Cornwall hospital is run by the Royal Cornwall Hospital's Trust (RCHT).

The Healthcare Commission found that the trust had breached the hygiene code on cleanliness.

It also found that cases of MRSA at the trust were "significantly higher" than the average for similar trusts from January to September 2008.

The commission has told the RCHT to make improvements including ensuring there is a consistent process for decontaminating mattresses and improving "shortfalls" in the cleaning of endoscopes.

Endoscopes are used to carry out internal examinations and minor surgical procedures.

'Positive' report

Christine Rashley, the acting director of nursing at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, said: "Our endoscopy services have recently received a really positive Joint Advisory Group report.

"As a result of that the trust has been accredited to run a bowel screening programme.

"They wouldn't do that if our hospital wasn't up to the regulated standard."

The Healthcare Commission is due to carry out another inspection in six months to check improvements at the hospital have been made.

In October 2007 the RCHT was rated the worst performing trust in England by the Healthcare Commission.

The Joint Advisory Group on General Practice and Population Health (JAG) is a national advisory body.

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