A HIQA inspection has found issues around the provision of infection control measures in University Hospital Kerry.
This is according to the Health Information and Quality Authority’s Healthcare Overview Report 2020, which found that, while hospitals acted swiftly to cope with COVID-19, efforts were hindered by longstanding issues. During 2020, HIQA found the majority of hospitals inspected were substantially or fully compliant with most of the national standards. However, despite supplementary investment, others were not, which was of concern to HIQA in the context of a pandemic.
The report found that UHK was non-compliant in relation to planning, organising and managing its workforce to meet infection prevention and control needs.
The hospital was considered partially compliant in relation to providing healthcare in a clean and safe physical environment that minimises the risk of transmitting infection. Of the remaining four categories of risk examined, UHK was fully compliant in one and substantially compliant in the other three; these areas include having a system to manage infection outbreaks and cleaning and maintaining equipment.
Concerns around infection control in the hospital had been raised by a staff member in recent years.
In August 2018, consultant surgeon Tom McCormack wrote to CEO of the hospital group, Gerry O’Dwyer, about the standards in infection control.
He said a shortage of single rooms for isolation purposes creates an impossible environment for adequate management of infection, adding hospital infrastructure is ill-equipped to deal with the challenges of moderate standards for infection control.