A Scottish hospital has been told to improve testing procedures for patients after infection control breaches were found during an inspection.

Routine patient testing is carried out on all patients on admission to hospitals, when there is an outbreak on the ward, and on discharge to long-term care facilities.

The test is repeated on day five from the day of admission for patients who have tested negative.

However, not all wards were carrying out repeat testing on day five at University Hospital Crosshouse, in line with national guidance and NHS Ayrshire & Arran policy. 

Staff were also not always clear when patient testing had to be done and it was not always recorded on patient files.

Healthcare Improvement Scotland is now carrying out Covid focussed inspections of acute and community hospitals to monitor infection control procedures.

An unannounced inspection was carried out at University Hospital Crosshouse, NHS Ayrshire & Arran on April 13 and 14.

It noted six areas of good practice but the health board was also issued with six requirements.

Staff reported that outbreak management and increased bed pressures during the pandemic made safe running of the hospital extremely challenging.

The majority of equipment was visibly clean. However, in some areas inspected, patient equipment was visibly contaminated.

The inspectors raised concerns about staff arriving at work in uniforms. NHS Ayrshire & Arran said staff are expected to change onsite in the staff changing facilities. 

The chlorine-releasing disinfectant solution used was not always dated, timed or stated the strength of the solution, "therefore, we cannot be assured of the effectiveness of the solution".

Compliance with standard infection control precautions was generally found to be good and there was sufficient stock of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff and visitors.

Nursing staff told inspectors they had felt supported by the infection prevention and control and microbiology teams throughout the pandemic.