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Bedford Hospital failing to meet national hygiene standards

June 17, 2008 7:37 PM
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Lib Dems campaigning for improvements at Bedford hospital

Bedford Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Henry Vann has called for a more local accountability at Bedford hospital, in response to news that it is one of the 103 NHS trusts that are failing to meet Government standards on hygiene, according to independent government watchdog, the Healthcare Commission.

Bedford Hospital has admitted failing to meet one of the hygiene targets concerning the disinfection of hospital equipment. The decontamination of equipment target is marked as "not met" in the Healthcare Commission first stage annual performance assessment.

In addition to this, Bedford Primary Care Trust (PCT) has provided "insufficient assurances" over keeping patients, staff and visitors safe with systems to minimise risks associated with acquisition and use of medical devices. However, it has met most of the targets and resolved previous issues.

Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Social Care Trust has resolved all the problems previously raised by the Healthcare Commission.

The Healthcare Commission has issued a public warning to trusts saying that trusts will have 10 months to meet the targets before the new commission - the Care Quality Commission - comes into force.

Liberal Democrat parliamentary campaigner, Henry Vann, said:

"I welcome the improvements that Bedfordshire PCT and Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Social Care Trust have made to their services in resolving previous concerns raised by the Healthcare Commission."

"But I'm concerned that other targets continue to be missed - the people and medical staff of Bedford deserve better than this under-funded and centrally controlled system."

"Making hospitals locally accountable and responsible to the areas they serve is a key Liberal Democrat policy, and allowing this level of accountability would ensure that hygiene standards are met."

"The Liberal Democrats would make a single member of the hospital board responsible for maintaining good hygiene standards. This would ensure that there is a locally knowledgeable and accountable individual able to fight the problem of healthcare associated infections and poor hygiene."