"Is Infection Control As Good As it Could Be? "

About: Clarendon Wing, Leeds General Infirmary

(as the patient),

I spent some time (about ten days) on a ward at the Leeds General Infirmary recently. The ward was clean, and was cleaned frequently while I was there. The matresses, pillows and bed frames were cleaned between patients, and bedding was always changed if it was used in any way. There were plenty of hand-gel dispensers which were used reasonably well.

However, it seems to me that a piece of equipment which was heavily handled by each patient, and unavoidably so with contaminated and unwashed hands, I never saw cleaned. This was the television / telephone / headphone module. I know that in the outside world telephone keypads and keyboards are focuses of bacterial and viral contamination, and I am sure this will be no different in hospital.

I have not named the ward, as I think it unlikely that this practice is different from ward to ward.

Is this a question of adhering to a principle without thinking about the realities? When and by whom and how frequently are the TV modules cleaned? (not once in the ten days I was on my ward) Thinking about it, I might ask the same question about the bed control handsets, which again I don't think were cleaned.

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Response from Leeds PCT

Thank you for taking the time to share your recent experience at Leeds General Infirmary.

I was pleased to hear that the ward was cleaned regularly and there was plenty of hand gel available. However, I was disappointed to hear that you did not see some of the electrical equipment being cleaned.

I shall pass on your comments to the Patient Relations Manager at the hospital.

Thank you once again for sharing your comments.

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Response from Leeds PCT

Message from Patient Relations Manager at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust:

I was sorry to hear about your concerns. Unfortunately, I have been unable to determine from your comments which ward you were in and therefore I have been unable to address these with the individual manager concerned.

Should you wish to discuss these issues personally please contact the Patient and Advice Liaison Service at Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust on 0113 2067168.

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