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Hospitals 'infested with vermin'

(16 Posts)
Upwind Wed 06-Aug-08 13:34:42

from the BBC

"The cleanliness of most NHS hospitals in England is threatened by frequent invasions of rats, fleas, bedbugs, flies and cockroaches, a report claims.

Figures released by the Conservatives show that 70% of NHS Trusts brought in the pest controllers at least 50 times between January 2006 and March 2008.

Vermin were found in wards, clinics and even operating theatres. A patients' group said the situation was revolting..."


It doesn't say which hospital had a rat infestation in the maternity unit. I can't imagine anything more disgusting. angry

deepinlaundry Wed 06-Aug-08 13:49:52

Where I worked (big London teaching hospital) cockroaches were rife. We used to catch them on night duty and put them in pots.

zippitippitoes Wed 06-Aug-08 13:50:42

hospitals are the only place i have seen cockraoches

3littlefrogs Wed 06-Aug-08 13:52:33

The cockroaches at the hospital where I trained were massive. I used to hate night duty for that reason...UGH - I am shuddering at the memory.

I also worked in a hospital that was infested with fleas because it was colonised by feral cats. It was a nightmare.

Callisto Wed 06-Aug-08 13:54:02

I'm shocked at how unsuprised you all are. Why are hospitals so disgusting?

Seeline Wed 06-Aug-08 13:55:02

I think the survey related to the number of times pest controllers were called in. I'd rather the hospitals called the controllers 'just in case' than leave vermin running riot through out the hospitals just to keep their call-out rates low! I think we have to accept that in urban areas in particular where rats etc are common place, they are going to appear in environments such as hospitals. They are generally huge buildings, difficult to keep clean, with a high level of things which would attract vermin in the first place, rubbish etc. Give our poor NHS a bit more money and maybe things would improve!

Upwind Wed 06-Aug-08 13:59:58

Seeline - the "poor" NHS swallows up whatever money is thrown at it. What makes you think that any extra money for the NHS would automatically be used to improve hygiene?

3littlefrogs Wed 06-Aug-08 14:02:18

A colleague recently caught a visitor allowing his small son to have a wee against the wall in the hospital corridor. So to be fair, lack of hygiene isn't all down to the staff.

Seeline Wed 06-Aug-08 14:03:39

It wouldn't necessarily, but improvements are needed throughout. This may help to raise standards generally.

Upwind Wed 06-Aug-08 14:10:19

Hospitals, of all places, should be kept clean and rubbish and waste food managed in such a way to make it impossible for vermin to access.

TwoIfBySea Wed 06-Aug-08 14:42:32

Callisto an answer might be in how they are cleaned.

My mum was a domestic at the local mental hospital. Then the cleaning staff were told they had to clean double the area for less pay and in less time. She quit because as she rightly stated it meant she couldn't do her job properly, she couldn't possibly clean two wards thoroughly in less time than it took to do one.

The cleaning staff were all later on "let go" to make way for contract staff who just didn't care what they did and how they did it.

So she views these stories with a "told you so" air!

When I was doing my nurse training we spent a great deal of time cleaning patient areas, tables, beds etc. I think with the change in training this was stopped so again (someone can correct that if wrong) there is another routine of cleaning gone.

3littlefrogs Wed 06-Aug-08 16:01:15

Yes - I agree. When I was a first year student nurse, I spent a lot of time cleaning and damp dusting anything that didn't move, with methylated spirit and paper towels. Weekend shifts meant even more cleaning - drug trolley, drug cupboard, treatment room trolleys and shelves. Sister would come round behind us to check that there wasn't a speck of dust left behind.

Once the nurse training was taken out of hospitals that all stopped.

The cleaners at my current hospital work 12 hour shifts for minimum wage. Most of them speak no English and many cannot read or write. They do not understand the labels that state where mops and buckets etc are to be used - therefore you get cleaning equipment being trailed from dirty areas to clean areas etc. But - hey - the trust saves money and can employ even more managers at £30K to oversee cost cutting.

brimfull Wed 06-Aug-08 16:05:57

I was chasing cockroaches last night at work....gross.

Where do cockroaches come from anywya??

3littlefrogs Wed 06-Aug-08 16:25:01

I am not sure ggirl. They live for a very long time, and can eat anything, so perhaps they have always been there. I know they have been around for thousands of years (as a species I mean).

margoandjerry Wed 06-Aug-08 16:52:34

in my very clean flat I have had mice, moths and cockroaches. Actually the mice are pretty much permanent and the cockroaches have just appeared so I really don't think it has a lot to do with cleanliness.

In our case it has a lot to do with being in an old building (old pipework etc) and living next to a building site (disturbs current nests etc).

teslagirl Wed 13-Aug-08 20:43:28

Cockroaches and rats are a fact of life.

They're everywhere that humans are. Including hospitals. Remember that the vast majority of these so-called 'infestations' related the number of visits made by the pest controllers. That doesn't equate to rats running down hospital corridors, or cockroaches all over beds.

The fact is, in my experience, some of the most stomach churning things that enter hospitals are- dangerous ground, here- some of the patient 'clientele'. It's the same way a lot of MRSA gets into our hospitals, too.

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