John Radcliffe Hospital chief hits back over Government’s ‘dirty’ claim

JR boss Sir Jonathan Michael

JR boss Sir Jonathan Michael

First published in News Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Health reporter, also covering Kidlington. Call me on 01865 425271

HOSPITAL boss Sir Jonathan Michael has hit back at a Government claim that Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital is among England’s worst for cleanliness.

Sir Jonathan spoke out after it was put “among the worst” for infection control and cleanliness under new safety ratings.

The Government has scored hospitals according to seven standards on its NHS Choices website as part of moves for an “open and honest” NHS.

This was based on the number of clostridium difficile cases, where it was rated average for 0.01 cases per bed in the last three months. The rating classed the hospital as “poor” on MRSA as there was one case of the superbug in the last three months.

It also considered April results from the NHS inpatient survey for the trust which runs the hospital, which rated it average based on 444 responses.

Patient-Led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) that ranked the trust 1,066 out of 1,359 health care places were also included.

But Sir Jonathan, chief executive of Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust, said there had been a “consistent year-on-year reduction” in infections.

C difficile cases went from 108 to 92 to 65 and MRSA from five to four to five from 2011/12 to 2013/14.

The Department of Health said the MRSA case and PLACE assessment were the reason for the rating.

Sir Jonathan said: “We are very disappointed that we were rated poorly for infection control and cleanliness at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

“We do not recognise this description of our hospital.

“In fact we are among the strongest trusts in the country for our performance on tackling hospital acquired infections and recent reports.”

The trust met or exceeded standards around inspection results, staff views, staffing levels, number of blood clot assessments, responding to national safety guidance and reporting of concerns.

Oxford East MP Andrew Smith said: “Whilst the hospital must keep striving to be the best possible, I think the “among the worst” rating does not do justice to the staff at the hospital and the progress they are making.”

But Mark Ladbrooke, Unison Oxfordshire spokesman, criticised the trust and said cleaning staff were not at fault.

He said: “Our members are dedicated and are doing a remarkable job in very difficult conditions.”

DANGEROUS BUGS

  • IF MRSA gets into a break in the skin the bacterial infection can cause life-threatening infections like blood poisoning or a heart infection. Clostridium difficile is a bacterial infection that can affect the digestive system. Symptoms can include diarrhoea, fever, cramps and life-threatening complications like swelling of the bowel.



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Comments (2)

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1:23pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Ellie the Bruce says...

One case of MRSA in the last 3 months and the hospital gets a poor rating? What do they need to get a good rating? A score of -3 cases?
Utterly ridiculous.
One case of MRSA in the last 3 months and the hospital gets a poor rating? What do they need to get a good rating? A score of -3 cases? Utterly ridiculous. Ellie the Bruce
  • Score: 1

9:06pm Tue 1 Jul 14

Tidkin says...

It doesn't suprise me one bit - you only have to see all the John Radcliffe nursing and theatre staff swanning around Headington, in the shops and on dirty buses wearing the same clothing that they wear in the hospital to know that the hospital doesn't take cleanliness seriously enough. Even canteen and restaurant staff aren't allowed to wear their work clothes outside the workplace. They also launder their uniforms at home - supposedly at 60 degrees - but their employers have no way of knowing that this is done. My mother acquired both C-dif and septicemia in the JR.
It doesn't suprise me one bit - you only have to see all the John Radcliffe nursing and theatre staff swanning around Headington, in the shops and on dirty buses wearing the same clothing that they wear in the hospital to know that the hospital doesn't take cleanliness seriously enough. Even canteen and restaurant staff aren't allowed to wear their work clothes outside the workplace. They also launder their uniforms at home - supposedly at 60 degrees - but their employers have no way of knowing that this is done. My mother acquired both C-dif and septicemia in the JR. Tidkin
  • Score: -1

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