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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Blood-stained bed left in public area of Carlisle hospital for days

A dirty, blood-stained bed was left standing in a hospital corridor at Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary for days.

Pictures showed the soiled air bed, which is used to occasionally treat patients with burns and pressure sores, in a public area posing a potential infection risk.

A source told the News & Star that the bed was left on the bottom floor corridor – near the hospital restaurant – for at least four days.

The sheet was covered in multiple blood stains and the residue from a type of antiseptic solution used to protect patients’ skin.

Chris Platton, acting director of nursing and quality with the North Cumbria University Hospitals Trust, said: “The specialised bed was hired for a patient who had specific nursing needs. This bed was in an area awaiting collection.

“However, it was entirely inappropriate that the bed could be seen from a public area and was uncovered and not screened.

“The trust has taken immediate steps to resolve this and has asked [cleaning contractors] Interserve FM, as a matter of top priority, to carry out daily spot-checks in this area and across the hospital generally to ensure that any items awaiting collection are moved immediately and placed into an appropriate area.

“We are investigating this formally with Interserve FM so that lessons can be learned and any action required is taken.”

Meanwhile, at the West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, one family has complained of “filthy” conditions after a visit last week.

Paul Crellin, who took his wife to attend an orthopaedic appointment, said: “We witnessed disgraceful conditions. The filthy staircase had waste materials beneath and between the stair wall. Also, there was a substance on the staircase wall and a tissue on a stair.

“The examination bed had an old sticky plaster covering a “damaged” corner that was disgustingly filthy and had hair attached.

“The overall condition of what we saw was very sub standard – not what you would expect in an NHS hospital.

“I feel this issue should be highlighted as it is simply not good enough.”

Mr Platton said: “We are redeveloping West Cumberland Hospital which is an old building and requires a new hospital to meet modern-day healthcare.

“The staircase going up to the orthopaedic ward is particularly looking very old and tired. This area is cleaned regularly. However we have specifically asked for this area to be steam cleaned.

“The orthopaedic ward at West Cumberland Hospital was formally checked during an on-the-spot visit last week and no issues were identified.

“Our heads of nursing regularly check the hospitals on their daily walk-arounds and if they do see anything that is of concern to them, ask for these to be resolved as soon as possible. Cleaning audits are carried out in all wards and public areas on a regular basis with the support of our patient panels.”

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