An unannounced inspection of St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust by the Quality Care Commission (CQC) on 25th November has confirmed the hospital is meeting its duty to protect patients and staff from infections.

The CQC spot check focused on four areas of the hospital, two wards and two units where patients are treated. The CQC examined against 16 hygiene measures including ward cleanliness, hand-washing facilities and availability of antibacterial hand gel. Inspectors questioned staff across the Trust including doctors, nurses, cleaners, and management, in order to test their knowledge of hygiene standards. The watchdog also reviewed the Trust’s processes for staff infection control training and providing information for the public and the Board.

The CQC reported no concerns on 15 of its 16 measures. On one measure concerned with maintaining healthcare environments, it made a recommendation to improve cleaning as it found dust in extraction vents. This was a problem that Trust staff had already identified and were seeking to rectify. The recommendation did not mean the standard was breached².

The inspection report also noted that the Trust’s rates of Clostridium difficile were lower than the rates for the majority of similar trusts between July 2008 and June 2009. In the same period, the Trust’s rates for MRSA were between average for similar trusts and well below this range³.

Zoe Packman, Interim Director of Nursing, said: “We are pleased with the CQC’s report as it confirms our ongoing work to improve standards of hygiene within the Trust is protecting our patients, visitors and staff.”

Notes to editors

  1. For more information, please contact the Communications Unit on 020 8725 5151 or email Outside working hours, please page us by calling 0844 822 2888, leaving a short message and contact details for pager SG548.
  2. When a standard is breached the CQC makes a requirement, rather than a recommendation, and the Trust must act within an agreed timeframe. A recommendation is made where the CQC judges a trust to be compliant with the regulation overall but can strengthen its approach.
  3. Based on data verified by the Health Protection Agency.