Riverside Medical Practice received a complaint from Mrs A, a pregnant 35-year-old patient. She had recently seen GP Dr F for an antenatal examination. Mrs A was unhappy with the care that she had received and complained about numerous infection control issues during her visit:
- When Dr F examined her, she noticed that he didn’t wash his hands before he palpated her abdomen, or afterwards.
- She was asked to lie down on an examination couch covered with a cloth blanket and a soiled pillow. She enquired how often the blankets were washed.
- When she visited the patient’s bathroom in order to provide a specimen she was disgusted with the cleanliness of the room and that only a ‘grubby looking towel’ was provided for drying her hands.
Mrs A changed practice. The secretary later heard that Mrs A told her friends she left the practice as she didn’t want to bring her newborn baby to unclean premises.
What if Mrs A is not alone? What if patients are leaving your practice because of inadequate infection control practices?
Do you provide patient care in a clean and safe environment where the risk of infection to patients and staff is kept to the minimum? Have you a robust policy for the prevention and spread of infection within your practice?