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NHS trusts warned over poor hygiene


16 June, 2008  

The health watchdog has said more than one in four NHS trusts are unable to meet government standards on hygiene.

A total of 103 National Health Service (NHS) trusts out of 391 across England fail to meet one or more elements of the hygiene code.

They include 41 acute hospital trusts, 57 primary care trusts (PCTs), one ambulance trust and four mental health trusts.

The code is aimed at tackling hospital infections like MRSA and Clostridium difficile and covers issues like decontaminating surgical equipment, cleaning wards and providing information to patients.

The Healthcare Commission issued a public warning over the failures, saying trusts have 10 months to improve before a new regulator comes into force.

The new Care Quality Commission will require trusts to show they are compliant with regulations on hygiene. Those that fall short are likely face having conditions put on their registration.

Anna Walker, chief executive of the Healthcare Commission, said: “Our main message is not that we expect NHS trusts to be closed, but that there’s 10 months for these trusts to work very hard at bedding these hygiene code duties into place as they take on that extra legal bite of being registration requirements.”

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