"Hygiene at the RUH Bath left us very anxious"

About: Royal United Hospital

(as the patient),

Last Wednesday evening (4th July) I had to take my wife into RUH A&E for treatment of a kidney infection. We were asked to use the handwash before entering and after leaving A&E. Just before having a canula fitted for intravaenous fluids and anti-biotics a cleaner (wearing rubber gloves) came into the cubicle with an open bag of rubbish in one hand and a piece of plastic tube in the other. He poked around in the general waste bin with the plastic tube and then did the same with the clinical waste bin. He then put the plastic tube down on the work surface used to hold sterile needles and equipment whilst he emptied the rubbish into his plastic sack! The cleaner then went on to the next cubicle presumably to repeat the process and spread any infection throughout the whole A&E department. I mentioned what had happend and expressed my concern to the nurse and doctor treating my wife and was shocked by the response. "That is the standard we have to put up with. If you pay peanuts you get monkeys."

No action appeared to be taken, the work surface was not even wiped or disinfected and a minute later sterile intravaenous packs were being opened exactly where the plastic tube had been placed.

The following evening we were back in A&E for a different anti-biotic to be administered as an unknown bug had appeared on my wife's blood test. We were eventually put into a cubicle with no trolley, clinical waste on the floor and "used" cardboard bowls on the work surface. A canula was fitted, this time the "sterile" pack was opened up on top of the waste bin !

My wife is still at The RUH being treated and I am desparately worried that she will catch something even more nasty than the kidney infection that she went in with.... please can something be done as a matter of urgency?

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