The cleanliness of Greater Manchester hospitals is in question after a report showed that 5,618 vermin – three per day – were recorded in hospitals in the last five years.
In one case a ‘rat [was] seen going out of theatre two on to [a] corridor’ of North Manchester General Hospital (NMGH) on October 7 last year.
Staff even reported maggots in the critical care unit of the Royal Bolton Hospital in June of 2011.
More than 176 rats were reported inside hospital buildings with a further 246 found on hospital grounds, statistics obtained by an FOI submitted by MM reveal.
In total ten RATS’ NESTS were found, one of which was a nest outside the ante-natal unit on April 3 2009 at NMGH.
Katherine Murphy, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, said: “This is a major patient safety concern, not to mention a serious compromise in dignity.
“Some of the areas where pests have been found house vulnerable patients who could be at high risk of infection.”
NMGH’s incinerator was reported to be ‘over run with rats’ on April 2013 and a ‘cockroach infestation’ was discovered in the department of surgery on August 2014.
In all, there were 320 cases of mice, 527 cockroaches, 1423 ants, 152 fleas and 499 wasps while the rest were made-up of reports of maggots and silverfish among others.
Mrs Murphy added: “Trusts and hospitals must have robust measures in place to deal not only with pest outbreaks, but to prevent them from getting a foothold in our hospitals.
“Patients and staff deserve clean and hygienic environment and the NHS needs to ensure this at all times.”
Vermin were reported 2,477 times at Acute Pennine Trust hospitals, 961 times at Stockport, 536 times at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust and South Manchester Hospitals recorded 403 separate incidents between 2011 to 2013.
The Christie, Trafford, Bolton, Central Manchester and Salford NHS Foundation Trusts made-up the remaining 1,224 reports.
A rats’ nest was reported outside the operating theatres of NMGH on February 12 2009 and there were another 101 sightings of vermin in or near operating theatres at other hospitals.
Birch Hill Hospital’s operating theatres had a ‘fly infestation’ in July 2012 resulting in the cancellation of the theatre list for that day.
Peter O’Neill, estates officer, at The Pennine Acute Hospitals NHS Trust said: “Recent mild winters have seen an increase in vermin across the country.
“We take preventative measures by employing a pest control contractor to visit each of our four sites every week.
“In addition we act very promptly to deal with any pests that are reported to us.
“The number of call outs is a reflection of how seriously and quickly we deal with any issues so that staff and patients are not affected.”
Image courtesy of Chrstine via FlickR, with thanks.