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Patrick McGuire, Partner Thompsons Personal Injury SolicitorsThompsons partner Patrick McGuire has criticised management at Ninewells Hospital for not learning the lessons of a fatal outbreak of C-Diff, after inspectors criticised current hygiene and infection control procedures.

Mr McGuire represents the families of the 18 victims of the C-Diff outbreak at Vale of Leven at the ongoing public inquiry.

The deaths of five patients during a Clostridium Difficile outbreak at Ninewells in 2009 is also being considered as part of the public inquiry in the Vale of Leven epidemic.

Mr McGuire said: “Over the last few months we have had a deeply concerning succession of Scottish hospitals failing routine inspections by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate.

“But it is quite incredible that a hospital that has been through the trauma of a C-diff outbreak that claimed five lives is not enforcing acceptable hygiene and infection control standards.

“If anything I would have expected this particular hospital to be setting a shining example for others to follow, given their first-hand experience of the terrible cost of outbreaks like C-Diff.

“The fact that they are not even doing the basics like ensuring correct hand cleaning procedures, and failed to properly manage a patient with MRSA, are simply unacceptable”.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI)  report on Ninewells Hospital in Dundee found poor compliance with hand hygiene rules, soiled equipment marked as clean, overfilled dirty linen bags and their report highlighted concerns about a patient with MRSA who was being treated on a ward with other patients.

The Inspectors said of Ninewells that they were "not assured that all senior charge nurses were confident in local infection control standards of practice and policy".

They saw some staff not wearing aprons and gloves when changing bed linen. They also cited cases of poor hand hygiene, with medical staff wearing long sleeves and a lack of provision of alcohol hand gel in some wards. There were overfilled dirty linen bags in several wards.

During an inspection of one ward, the senior charge nurse informed the inspectors of a patient with MRSA on the ward. The patient was placed in the bed next to the clinical hand-wash sink in a six-bedded area to ensure easy access to hand-washing facilities.

The inspection team found the alcohol hand-gel bottle at that particular sink was empty and there was no evidence of a dedicated toilet on the ward or dedicated commode for the patient.

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