MOST people think Basildon Hospital is clean according to a survey carried out by Thurrock Council.
Following a series of “bad news” stories and inspections of the hospital late last year, the council’s Health and Well-being Overview and Scrutiny Committee set up a small panel to investigate.
On Tuesday (29 June) the panel met to consider the results of a survey it carried out and to discuss various recommendations flowing from that and other investigations it carried out.
Over three hundred people contributed to the survey.
The panel heard that 96 per cent of staff — from senior doctors to non-clinical staff — thought the hospital was “very” or “fairly” clean; 71 per cent of patients questioned and 80 per cent of visitors and carers answered in the same way.
Public perceptions were also positive when asked if their visit met expectations and if they thought the areas they visited were well staffed.
However, the panel did agree a series of recommendations, ranging from asking the hospital to revise its hand-washing signage to make it more visible and better use of the reception area to promote personal cleanliness as well as making it more “welcoming”, to reviewing the hospital cleaning contract and recruiting volunteer advocates to help visitors.
Panel chair, Steve Westrop from the Thurrock Local Involvement Network (LINk), said: “This was never a hospital-bashing exercise. There were concerns in the community and we wanted to investigate what was actually happening.
“Obviously there have been a few issues at the hospital, but there is plenty of excellent work there too — work that never makes headlines.
“I think our survey has shown that most people are happy with the hospital, and our recommendations are aimed at helping the hospital trust continue to move forward and to restore its reputation in our community.”
Following Tuesday’s meeting a full report of the panel’s activities along with its recommendations will be put before the council’s cabinet.
The panel also agreed to seek permission to extend its life and maintain the close working relationship that has developed between it, the hospital trust and NHS South West Essex (the PCT).