ONE ward at Craigavon Area Hospital failed to meet standards during an unannounced inspection last year.
Four wards were inspected however a follow-up visit was required after the first inspection felt improvement was needed on cleanliness and infection prevention.
Indeed the Regulation and Quality Improvement Authority which carried out the inspections, revealed it had returned to five of the six largest acute hospitals in Northern Ireland for follow-up inspections.
Last year there was an unannounced inspection to Lurgan Hospital in May, another in Craigavon on June 23 which required a follow-up unannounced inspection in September and there was a fourth unannounced inspection to the Cancer Unit at Craigavon in October.
The RQIA is the independent body responsible for monitoring and inspecting the availability and quality of health and social care services in Northern Ireland.
Details of each hospital visit and the issues discovered have not been revealed. However during their hospital visits, RQIA inspectors found that some clinical areas failed to have automated or elbow-operated taps, despite last year’s pseudomonas outbreak which claimed the lives of four babies.
Inspectors also found an unacceptable degree of lime scale in some sink areas.
While overall hospitals in Northern Ireland were found to be are a lot cleaner, there is still room for improvement according to the RQIA.
Of the four wards visited in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital, all four had to be revisited in a follow-up inspection.
Three out four wards were checked again at the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald, two out of four wards at Belfast City Hospital were revisited and one ward was rechecked in both Craigavon and Altnagelvin.
While only one ward was inspected at Longstone Hospital in Armagh, inspectors were not satisfied and returned for a follow-up inspection.
The criticisms included that there was a lack of a robust monitoring system by the appropriate staff.
This meant patients and families could not be assured about the level of cleaning taking place.
Some wards had dirty, bloodstained mattresses while older buildings often had cracks and crevices which were, according to the inspectors, reservoirs for bacteria.
Unannounced inspections to the acute hospitals in Northern Ireland resulted in a follow-up inspection in five of the six largest acute hospitals.
A spokesperson for Craigavon Area Hospital said: “Unannounced inspections to the acute hospitals in Northern Ireland resulted in a follow-up inspection in five of the six largest acute hospitals. One ward in Craigavon Area Hospital was subject to a follow-up inspection and achieved an overall compliance score.
“The Southern Trust has some of the lowest rates of infection and in particular, has the lowest rates of C difficile in the UK.”