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Pest control—response to recent media reports

12 August 2008

Patients and members of the public may have seen recent media reports about the use of pest control services in NHS hospitals.

Patients and members of the public may have seen recent media reports about the use of pest control services in NHS hospitals.

By making a request under the Freedom of Information Act, the Conservative Party asked hospitals to reveal how often pest controllers had been called in during the two-year period from January 2006 to March 2008.

Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust reported 61 incidents of pest control contractor attendance during this period.

Our contract, which is operated by ISS Mediclean on our behalf, includes both planned visits by pest control contractors as well as attendance in the event of reports of pests on the hospital site.

We would like to take this opportunity to reassure patients and the public that we do not consider this attendance to be an indicator in terms of a problem with hygiene or cleaning standards at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

Our hygiene standards compare well with other hospitals in London and nationally – we recently achieved a maximum rating of ‘Excellent’ in the National Patient Safety Agency’s Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) annual inspection of cleanliness and our MRSA rate has been reduced by 66% in the last three years.

From time to time pests are brought into the hospital by visitors, including patients and members of the public, and we have the usual summer problems of wasps and flies.

However, we have not had an infestation of any sort in the past four years, due to good maintenance of the hospital building, high standards of catering hygiene, adherence to waste procedures and appropriate pest control deterrent regimes.

The modern design of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital also helps us to manage pest control issues in a way that other London hospitals with Victorian ductwork and miles of underground corridors cannot do easily.

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