a PREGNANT woman was given a blood-stained bed at the Capital’s flagship hospital – just weeks after a watchdog criticised health bosses after making similar discoveries during a major inspection.
Stunned dad Garry Fraser took pictures of the bloodied bed frame after partner Angie Stewart, 28, who had gone into labour hours earlier at their home in Clermiston, was put in a triage room at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary ahead of the birth of their daughter, Faith.
It followed the publication of a report by Healthcare Improvement Scotland (HIS), little more than a fortnight earlier, which told of blood contamination on bed rails, frames and medical equipment, and ordered bosses to take action. Health chiefs have apologised for the incident.
Father-of-four Mr Fraser, 35, an award-winning filmmaker, said: “I think you’ve got to be grateful and humble about receiving free medical care, the NHS is such a valuable service and we can take it for granted.
“But if they’re going to do a job, they need to do it properly, or else you get people coming into hospitals with one infection and coming out with three.
“Someone had been in the room before us and it hadn’t been cleaned up. There was even more blood on the toilet. The lack of concern for me was the worrying thing, they didn’t seem to think it was a big deal.”
Mr Fraser said he asked for another room, but Angie was moved to the delivery suite before one was available, while it took 45 minutes for someone to attempt to clean the mess up.
“I’m first aid trained, and I was always told to treat people as I would want my own son or daughter to be treated,” he added. “But some of the staff there are overworked and overtired, you can see it in them.”
As well as finding bed frames and equipment contaminated with blood during the HIS probe, inspectors also branded hand hygiene of medical students “very poor”, while more than half of commodes and mattress covers examined were contaminated.
Scottish Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said there was “no obvious excuse” for “a system which constantly misses issues of basic hygiene”.
He added: “Despite tough talking on hospital hygiene from the Scottish Government, unfortunate incidents like this still seem to emerge.”
Sarah Ballard-Smith, NHS Lothian’s nurse director, admitted that the health board had failed to meet the high standards it expected.
She added: “We have spoken to and apologised to the individual involved, and I would like to take this opportunity to publicly apologise for any distress this has caused.
“The cleaning of beds is part of a thorough and fundamental process which each of our hospitals should follow and we will investigate to ensure a similar incident doesn’t happen again.”