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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 January 2008, 14:33 GMT
Cat complaint on hospital hygiene
A mobile phone picture of the ginger cat sitting in a waiting area at Bronglais Hospital
Councillor Paul James asked why the cat 'slipped through the net'
A hospital which was accused of not being clean enough last year has been criticised after a cat was spotted in the accident and emergency unit.

It was pictured at Bronglais Hospital, Aberystwyth, prompting a written complaint by councillor Paul James.

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) said it would be "following the matter up" with the hospital trust.

The hospital said staff did not allow in the cat "of unknown ownership," and washed their hands if they touched it.

Cllr James was contacted by a constituent who saw the ginger cat on two occasions when visiting the hospital with a friend before and after Christmas.

A mobile phone picture of the ginger cat sitting in a waiting area at Bronglais Hospital
This must certainly pose a risk to hygiene
Councillor Paul James

HIW raised concerns over tidiness and cleanliness at the hospital last year. Officials said then they were taking steps to improve hygiene standards.

But Mr James said that a cat in the casualty department "must certainly pose a risk to hygiene".

"Last year, Ceredigion NHS trust managers promised that they were taking the necessary steps to improve hygiene standards at the hospital," he said.

He asked how this animal had "slipped through this net".

The constituent who took photographs of the cat and then complained to Mr James said he had been alarmed to see it.

'Infection prevention'

The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said: "The cat obviously felt at home as it was mingling amongst the waiting patients and wanted attention."

The man said he had also seen the cat being given a bowl of milk.

Ceredigion and Mid Wales NHS Trust said a "local cat of unknown ownership" had been seen near the A&E department.

The trust added: "Staff are aware of this and on occasions have ensured that the cat moves away from the department entrance.

"In doing this, staff on occasions need to touch the cat. Staff fully comply with infection prevention control measures and decontaminate their hands by thorough hand washing if they have touched the cat."



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