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CQC carried out a period of listening activity at Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust in December 2013 and January 2014. The report from that exercise, which informed our inspection in May 2014, is available below.

All reports

Inspection report

Date of Inspection: 5 July 2011
Date of Publication: 26 July 2011
Inspection Report published 26 July 2011 PDF | 154.43 KB

People should be cared for in a clean environment and protected from the risk of infection (outcome 8)

Meeting this standard

We checked that people who use this service

  • Providers of services comply with the requirements of regulation 12, with regard to the Code of Practice for health and adult social care on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance.

How this check was done

We reviewed all the information we hold about this provider, carried out a visit on 05/07/2011, checked the provider's records, observed how people were being cared for, looked at records of people who use services, reviewed information from people who use the service, talked to staff and talked to people who use services.

Our judgement

We found that The Royal Sussex County Hospital was compliant with this outcome.

We found evidence that the hospital was taking measures to protect patients against identifiable risks of acquiring infection and to prevent and control the spread of infection. Despite the challenging constraints of the building we found that the hospital was currently maintaining the appropriate standards of cleanliness and hygiene with robust processes in place to prevent infection and control the spread of infection in the hospital.

User experience

We were told by a patient on Albion ward “the whole place is spotless” and that staff wash their hands and change gloves and aprons between patients.

Whilst visiting Jowers ward a patient told us that she normally went private but “cannot believe how much better it is now, the whole place is so clean so will always ask to come back here now”.

Other evidence

During the visit we were aware that this hospital is accommodated in a range of buildings over a large site and battles continually to maintain a high standard of hygiene throughout all areas of the estate. Furthermore the hospital is undergoing a programme of re-development with continual redecoration and refurbishment to address the challenges and complexities of the increased population it treats.

The hospital has robust infection control procedures in place with a designated person who has responsibility for co-ordinating infection prevention and control. A process of review is embedded into the culture that ensures regular cleaning and infection control audits are undertaken. The organisation has policies and procedures and risk assessment processes in place for the control of infection which are supported by appropriate governance structures headed at trust level by the Director of Infection, Prevention and Control (DIPC). Link nurses work in ward areas to ensure that infection control procedures are monitored.

We saw notices displayed in the lifts reminding staff of the importance of not wearing scrubs outside of the appropriate clinical areas but still observed several members of staff arriving at the hospital wearing them prior to starting work. Discussion with the Chief Nurse confirmed that this was not acceptable and action would be taken immediately to remind staff to adhere to policy.

We observed that communal areas, wards and treatment areas were clean and free from any odours. Information notices were clearly displayed at the entrance of the hospital and throughout corridor and ward areas regarding hygiene and actions to be taken if people visiting the hospital were suffering from diarrhoea or sickness. Hand cleansing gel dispensers with information on hand cleaning were also available throughout the hospital. There was good access in all areas for staff to obtain disposable gloves. On wards that we visited cleaning schedules were displayed on notice boards.

We visited the toilet areas in A&E on several occasions throughout the day of our visit and each time found that toilet rolls required replacing and patient rubbish needed removing. When we informed the reception area these issues were addressed immediately by cleaning staff.

Whilst we were visiting the resuscitation room in the A&E department we saw that a member of staff was checking that cleaning reminders made by the night shift and recorded on the notice whiteboard had been addressed. We were told that the night team had found dust on the storage shelves and rails of the beds and the floor needed cleaning. The person told us that everyone is encouraged to take responsibility for making sure that the hospital is clean and ensuring that items requiring attention are noted and actioned.

Staff were able to tell us that they had undertaken training in infection control and we were able to confirm this by checking training records and data.

Whilst visiting Jowers ward we observed that staff were wearing protective aprons and gloves when assisting patients with toileting or personal care. We observed one member of staff touching a patients drinking cup whilst wearing the gloves that she had been using to administer care to another patient. We asked the staff member if she was aware of her actions and requested that she change the patients drinking cup and jug.