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GBH very clean, but could be cleaner

SHETLAND’s Gilbert Bain Hospital has received a generally positive cleanliness report, but the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) also found areas where more could be done.

The inspectorate yesterday (Monday) issued an action plan with five requirements and seven recommendations NHS Shetland must implement as a matter of priority.

Inspectors also said that the “majority of areas” in the Gilbert Bain were “very clean”.

The hospital, with 76 staffed beds and a number of special heath care services, was visited by a team from HEI on 15 December last year.

The HEI inspection programme is aimed at reducing healthcare associated infection risks to patients in all Scottish hospital

Yesterday’s report and action plan were welcomed by NHS Shetland management who assured the public that they would act immediately on the recommendations made.

HEI commended NHS Shetland for the use of recorded hand hygiene messages in the lifts, but also pointed out that the high dependency unit was “visibly dusty”.

The 12 point action plan says:


  • NHS Shetland must ensure that there is effective communication between the infection control team and staff;

  • NHS Shetland must review its service level agreement with NHS Grampian to include the addition of quality monitoring clauses in relation to the prevention and control of infection;

  • NHS Shetland must ensure that clinical sinks of the appropriate dimensions are readily available in all clinical areas;

  • NHS Shetland must ensure that the appropriate ratio of beds to clinical sinks is available in all clinical areas;

  • NHS Shetland must review the patient equipment cleaning schedules to ensure that responsibility for the cleaning of patient equipment is clearly assigned to a defined staff group


  • It is recommended that NHS Shetland ensures that it has adequate measures in place to demonstrate that general environmental audits are undertaken on a frequency which is appropriate to risk;

  • It is recommended that NHS Shetland ensures that the renal unit is provided with an appropriate number of clinical waste bins;

  • It is recommended that NHS Shetland reviews its refrigerator temperature monitoring procedures to ensure temperatures are recorded appropriately;

  • It is recommended that NHS Shetland commences monthly audits of antimicrobial prescribing policy for 20 patient records within the acute receiving units;

  • It is recommended that NHS Shetland reiterates the correct use of indicator tape to staff;

  • It is recommended that NHS Shetland develops its communications systems to ensure more emphasis is placed on formal communication between senior staff and ward staff;

It is recommended that NHS Shetland reviews its procedures for the dissemination of patient leaflets to ensure that patients are receiving appropriate information regarding infection control.

NHS Shetland chief executive Sandra Laurenson said the organisation took the requirements and recommendations made very seriously and had already begun implementing them as a matter of priority.

“I welcome this comprehensive and valuable report, and would like to pay tribute to all staff who work hard on this important area of patient care.

“However, I recognise that there are a number of requirements and recommendations which have been made, all of which we are taking very seriously.  Work to address them has already commenced,” she said.

Chairman Ian Kinniburgh added: “I am pleased with the report received by NHS Shetland and particularly the feedback that the Gilbert Bain Hospital was very clean.  This is reassuring for the public and reinforces our belief that we are providing a quality service for patients.’

Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said: “The inspectors highlighted a number of positives at the Gilbert Bain but also found areas where more could be done.

“NHS Shetland has put in place an action plan to address these and I expect them to make swift progress in implementing this.

“The inspectorate will monitor this through further planned and unannounced inspections.”

Scottish Parliament election, 6 May 2021