Press Release

Tánaiste says public will have access to National hospital hygiene audit results as part of fight against MRSA

The Tánaiste and Minister for Health and Children, Mary Harney T.D., said today (Monday) that the results of the first national hospital hygiene audit which will be undertaken in July and August will be made public and will ensure that the issue of hygiene is taken more seriously by hospitals that it has been heretofore.

Speaking in Dublin , the Tanaiste said – “Every hospital in the country will know that the public will have access to the results of the hygiene audit and this will encourage hospitals to perform better to tackle MRSA and help to ensure that the matter is taken more seriously.”

The Tanaiste said. “ I am not happy with the standard of hygiene in hospitals and it is one of the first things I asked the new national hospitals office to deal with. I am determined that our hospitals are run to the highest possible standards, There is no excuse for dirt especially when huge money is being spent on cleaning programmes involving both in-house cleaning and outside contracts.

I think we need an all out national effort in relation to MRSA and I am determined to lead it. Anything that requires to be done will be done, either by way of reporting, getting correct data published, and changing practices in hospitals. We will also be making money available for public awareness campaigns targeted at people visiting hospitals so that they are fully informed about best hygiene practices.”

The Tanaiste welcomed the appointment by the HSE of an expert consultancy to carry out the first ever-national independent hygiene audit of the health services. The Audit is to be carried out by Desford Consultancy Ltd., a UK based company with significant expertise in this area. The audit will be completed by the end of August and a final report finalised by the end of September.

She also welcomed the first of a series of high level meetings on the MRSA issue by the HSEs own Working Group on hygiene in hospitals with senior cleaning managers from hospitals across the country. The results of this working group, combined with the results of the audit will direct staff training on hygiene and cleanliness and underpin a national, consistent and robust set of standards for hospitals.