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‘Dual cleaning and catering duties’ at hospital

WORN and poorly maintained wall paintwork, wood finishes and flooring in the theatre department of Limerick’s maternity hospital do not “facilitate effective cleaning” according to a report by the Health Information and Quality Authority (HIQA). The report also stated that cleaning staff in the theatre department and labour ward “have dual cleaning and catering duties” and that the cleaning resources allocated to the labour ward “did not provide assurances that the cleanliness of the physical environment can be effectively managed and maintained particularly during surges in activity”. Hospital management, however, said additional staff recruitment is nearing completion and should rectify these issues. An unannounced inspection, which took place at the University Maternity Hospital on January 27, found that “overall the environment in the theatre department was generally clean” and had “achieved 95% compliance in the most recent environmental audit carried out”. However, the HIQA inspectors also identified “a number of infrastructural and maintenance issues which had the potential to impact …

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