Blood Smeared Walls And Mouse Droppings… In An NHS Hospital
Posted Mar 25 2009 3:58pm
Reports have been revealed today of mouse droppings being discovered in an operating theatre in a West Midlands hospital, sparking new fears about the standards of hygiene across the NHS.
In addition to the findings, a surgeon and a hospital worker have approached Michael Fabricant, who is the Conservative MP for Lichfield, showing him pictures of wards dirtied with blood. Mr Fabricant revealed the information to the House of Commons.
In order to prevent the two staff members from losing their jobs, Mr Fabicant is withholding the name of the hospital as a “matter of honour”. Health Secretary, Alan Johnson, has vowed to look into the matter further.
In his speech to the House of Common yesterday, Mr Fabricant said, “They showed me photographs of mouse holes and mouse droppings in an operating theatre, blood smeared in wards.
“One is a consultant surgeon. Both were frightened to be whistleblowers. Both fear for their jobs.”
He further added, “What is the sort of ethos that exists in the health service when people like that can be afraid of revealing the truth?”
He went on to make it clear he was determined to unveil the name of the hospital as soon as he had assurances those who reported the incident were not in jeopardy of being dismissed.
The Health Secretary said he was keen to speak with these staff directly in order to establish exactly why they were so scared of losing their jobs.
When speaking about a similar case with Mid Staffordshire NHS Trust, which not long ago was at the centre of an investigation by the Healthcare Commission, Mr Johnson said, “ I don’t understand why clinicians whose primary role is the safety of their patients are somehow concerned about whistleblowing. I can’t understand it, quite frankly.”
A representative for the The West Midlands Strategic Health Authority has confirmed they are unaware of which hospital is under investigation. “It is an anonymous complaint and we haven’t seen any photos depicting the allegations made. We will be looking into this in the conventional manner, but we’d prefer if consultants did not feel they had to be anonymous and could raise concerns in the usual way.