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Hospital inspection report
NHS Forth Valley is the first health board to come under scrutiny from Scotland's newly-appointed hospital inspector.
Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon established the independent Healthcare Environment Inspectorate, headed by Chief Inspector Susan Brimelow, in April. Its work is designed to ensure public confidence in all aspects of the care environment in Scottish hospitals.
In particular, it has a mandate to ensure the correct procedures are followed to prevent the spread of healthcare associated infections (HAI) such as MRSA and C.diff - so-called 'superbugs'.
Ms Sturgeon said today's report heralded an era of 'unprecedented transparency' and greater scrutiny for the health service.
Every acute hospital will receive at least one announced and one unannounced inspection within the three year inspection cycle, with extra visits as required.
The inspectorate's first visit, to Stirling Royal Infirmary in the NHS Forth Valley area, took place on September 29 this year.
In its report, the inspectorate highlights many areas of good practice and has also requested that the board makes a number of improvements.
These include work to ensure the roles of members of the infection control team are more clearly defined, making sure all staff are aware of HAI surveillance procedures and that cleaning schedules are consistent across the organisation.
Ms Sturgeon said:
"It's vital that the public have absolute confidence in the care they will receive if they need hospital treatment. The unprecedented level of rigorous independent scrutiny provided by the inspectorate will help to instil that confidence.
"While primarily established as part of our drive to wipe out so-called superbugs, the inspectorate will also turn its attention to all aspects of the hospital care environment.
"Today's report highlights that NHS Forth Valley is working well for local people in many ways. However, the report highlights that there is room for improvement and points out where progress could be made.
"I expect NHS Forth Valley to accept all of the report's recommendations and ensure that they are acted upon.
"I look forward to seeing further inspectorate reports. The evidence they provide will prove invaluable as we continue our work to drive up standards throughout Scotland's hospitals."
The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate operates independently of the Scottish Government and the NHS Boards it inspects. For administrative purposes it is based within NHS Quality Improvement Scotland.