HEALTHCARE Improvement Scotland (HIS) carried out an unannounced inspection of the Borders General Hospital which took place on August 22 2023.

The inspection focused on Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) to help identify and minimise risks to safety and support ongoing improvements in quality of care.

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Areas of good practice mentioned in the report which was published on Thursday November 2 included the positive relationships between ward staff and the Infection Prevention and Control team.

The report noted senior managers proactively provided learning opportunities for staff including ‘bite sized’ on ward sessions and specific online modules for domestic staff.

The variety of patient feedback processes were also highlighted such as Care Opinion, surveys and suggestion boxes.

Inspectors complimented the use of forums to update patients on guidance changes or ward issues relating to infection prevention and control, particularly daily patient engagement groups and meetings.

Patients who spoke to Inspectors said they felt the environment was ‘very clean’ and did not raise any concerns about cleanliness.

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The report raised some areas of improvement such as repairs needing to be carried out to support effective cleaning and making sure that specialist IPC advice is recorded within ward-level patient care records so that it can inform care planning.

We welcome the opportunity to review and improve our performance so that we can continue delivering high quality standards to our patients.

To do so we have worked with Health Improvement Scotland to agree an action plan, which we have begun implementing.

Our Infection Prevention and Control team now have access to our electronic record keeping system (EMIS) and staff have been reminded about the importance of record keeping.

Further actions to be undertaken soon are establishing a process for oversight and escalation of outstanding maintenance tasks and implementing some refresher training.

Speaking of the report, Donna Maclean, Chief Inspector, Healthcare Improvement Scotland, said: “Staff we spoke with were knowledgeable about infection prevention and control, and spoke highly of the support they received from the infection prevention and control team. Domestic staff also reported good support from supervisors, however further training on the use of a disinfectant cleaning product must be implemented to ensure the product is being used safely and effectively.

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“On the day of the inspection the environment appeared visibly clean. However, staff told us that repairs that were reported were not being addressed in a timely manner, potentially leading to continued deterioration of the environment and hindering effective cleaning.

“Lack of storage space was an issue in most of the wards we inspected, and this meant that some storage areas were cramped and cluttered, which could make safe access and effective cleaning difficult.”

Peter Lerpiniere, Associate Director of Nursing for Mental Health, Learning Disability & Older People, said: “I would like to take this opportunity thank all staff involved for supporting the Inspectors during their visit as well as their hard work every day. I am delighted that we have such dedicated staff who work well together to ensure high quality environments for our patients.”