Mayo University Hospital has welcomed the HIQA publication of the report of an unannounced inspection of the hospital which took place on 29th of September.

On the day of the inspection, HIQA identified that the hospital was compliant with two and substantially compliant with three of the six of the National Standards for the prevention and control of healthcare-associated infections in acute healthcare services.

The hospital was non-compliant in one standard relating to the physical environment due to overcrowding of the non Covid Emergency Department at the time of the visit and a number of infrastructural and maintenance issues identified.

The focus of the inspection was to evaluate how the hospital was organised to minimise the spread of healthcare-associated infections, with a particular focus on systems to prevent, detect and manage COVID-19.

During the course of this inspection, HIQA identified that the hospital had put in place a number of important measures to reduce the likelihood of further outbreaks, as informed from learning from its experiences in April 2020 and in accordance with frequently updated national guidelines.

The report acknowledges the limited knowledge of this novel virus in April 2020 and the extent to which asymptomatic or pre-symptomatic transmission occurred.

HIQA identified formalised governance arrangements in place to promote good infection prevention and control practices with clear lines of accountability and responsibility; that staff integrate risk management practices into daily work routine to improve the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections; equipment is cleaned and maintained to minimise the risk of transmitting a healthcare-associated infection; and designated patient equipment, such as monitoring equipment, was available in each of the isolation rooms.

In a statement to Midwest News The Saolta Hospital Group says significant refurbishment works have been undertaken over the last number of months to address one of the bigger and long-standing infection control issues in Mayo University Hospital.

The refurbishment was carried out in two phases to ensure minimal impact on the hospital and was completed after the HIQA inspection took place.

Following changes in national guidance in September, the hospital has introduced clinical streaming of patients on arrival and there is a designated area provided for patients while waiting to be assessed and streamed to the Covid positive/suspect or non-Covid pathway.

In addition, the hospital has this week opened a new modular Acute Covid Assessment Unit which will provide 7 acute assessment beds and will mean improved access to hospital services for patients with COVID-19 or suspected of having COVID-19.

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