HEALTH chiefs are being urged to plough more resources into Renfrewshire’s main hospital after inspectors uncovered a string of hygiene failures.

Concerns have been raised that extra investment is needed to support hard-working staff at the Royal Alexandra Hospital.

Several examples of poor practice were noted at the RAH during an unannounced check-up in December.

READ MORE: Fourth person tested positive for infection linked to death at Paisley's Royal Alexandra Hospital

A report into the failings was released yesterday, just as it was revealed a fourth person had tested positive for a bacterial infection which contributed to the death of a patient at the Paisley hospital last month.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland’s report found that in some areas, including the emergency department, there were “several issues” with environmental cleanliness, including clinical wash-hand basins and toilets.

A shower room in one ward was being used as a storage area for equipment marked as "clean and ready to use" but this was found to be contaminated.

In the same ward, "badly-damaged equipment" was found.

Elsewhere, the cleaning checklist in the department’s staff and patient toilets had not been signed for 24 hours, even though it was meant to be completed on an hourly basis.

RAH chiefs were also slammed after clinical waste was found in insecure bins within a public area.

In addition, two fridges were at a higher than acceptable temperature for “the safe storage of expressed breast milk.”

Inspectors said they spoke with senior managers about a gap in resource for domestic provision, as staff complained the emergency department could be "extremely busy," making access to rooms difficult.

Some toilets had "removable contamination" on the walls, while floors were marked and dusty.

The report states: “We saw the cleaning checklist in both the staff and patient toilets had not been signed as being cleaned for over 24 hours.

“Clinical waste from the emergency department was stored in large, lockable waste hold bins. We found the bins were badly damaged and were not locked. These waste hold bins are located in a public area. This could allow unauthorised access to clinical waste.

“We found several issues with environmental cleanliness. In the emergency department, both domestic and clinical staff told us that it can be difficult to access rooms as the department can be extremely busy. However, it is essential domestic staff are given the opportunity to clean all areas.”

Inspectors praised RAH staff for their "excellent knowledge" and were impressed by their awareness of managing the risks of transmission and protecting other patients from cross infection when caring for a patient with infection.

West Scotland MSP Maurice Golden said the report has highlighted the need for increased funding at the RAH.

He added: "Our staff on the frontline at hospitals such as the Royal Alexandra do wonderful work every day to support patients who require care.

The Gazette: Maurice Golden Maurice Golden

“Our NHS staff deserve to know that their place of work will be properly resourced, rather than them having to feel the pressures of working under even greater financial strains.”

Earlier this month, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) confirmed a patient at the RAH who was seriously ill due to an underlying condition had died after being treated for the Stenotrophomonas Maltophilia bacterium.

Health chiefs said at the time that two other patients had been affected by the infection, that is rare and considered difficult to treat. It has now emerged a fourth patient was identified on February 8.

Tests to identify if there is a link to the other cases had not been concluded yesterday.

Commenting on the report issued by Healthcare Improvement Scotland, a spokeswoman for NHSGGC said action had been taken since the unannounced visit in December.

She added: “Whilst there was an issue highlighted with one bin in the emergency department, overall waste management was good. The bin has since been replaced with a secure locked bin.

READ MORE: Patient dies after contracting bacterial infection at Royal Alexandra Hospital

“Other improvements include additional storage for theatre packs, a programme of replacement of work surfaces and flooring within the theatres and the purchase of new wheelchairs.

“Feedback from patients forms an important part of these inspections and we were pleased that the majority of patients were positive about their experiences and found the hospital to be ‘exceptionally clean.’”