Hospital Pest Problems

14.08.2008

According to statistics revealed under the Freedom of Information Act, over 20,000 incidents were reported at NHS Trusts between January 2006 and March 2008. Pest controllers have been called to deal with incidents of rats on a maternity ward, fleas in a neo-natal unit, infestations of ants and mice, and wasps in operating theatres. Other common problems encountered by hospitals have been bedbugs, fleas and silverfish.

Health Minister, Ivan Lewis said that it was up to NHS Trusts to ensure that hospitals were clean and safe for patients. But he insisted that, so far, there was little evidence of any threat to patient safety.

Joanne Ashley of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors said "Hygiene in healthcare surroundings is an issue of utmost importance in ensuring patient safety. NHS Trusts must take responsibility for monitoring hygiene, to take all steps necessary to ensure patients receive the care they expect in clean, pest free surroundings".