Debra Freedman: These NHS bugs will bite

August 06, 2008 1:11 PM

Another day, another embarrassing report on hospital hygiene. Today’s reveals that hospitals throughoutRats_2
England are struggling to contain vermin outbreaks in wards and clinics.  The BBC reported yesterday that “70% of NHS Trusts brought in pest controllers at least 50 times between January 2006 and March 2008”.  The figures, brought to light through enquires made by the Conservatives, reveal that ants, rats, mice and fleas are a common feature of many hospitals.


The Healthcare Commission have downplayed the recent revelation, claiming that vermin do not pose a substantial threat to patients. But this meek response can not disguise the fact that there are indeed problems infesting the NHS, many of which are a serious threat to patients.  The day-to-day running of hospitals has been deteriorating under the current government, and will not improve until local hospitals are made accountable for their performance.  Decentralizing the current system- giving local hospitals more power to make necessary reforms and establish suitable pay and conditions - and removing politicians from crucial managerial positions - replacing them with experienced managers and senior doctors – would help move us away from the “hope the bed bugs don’t bite” approach to hospital management, to one where we actually fight the bed bugs.         

Another day, another embarrassing report on hospital hygiene. Today’s reveals that hospitals throughoutRats_2
England are struggling to contain vermin outbreaks in wards and clinics.  The BBC reported yesterday that “70% of NHS Trusts brought in pest controllers at least 50 times between January 2006 and March 2008”.  The figures, brought to light through enquires made by the Conservatives, reveal that ants, rats, mice and fleas are a common feature of many hospitals.


The Healthcare Commission have downplayed the recent revelation, claiming that vermin do not pose a substantial threat to patients. But this meek response can not disguise the fact that there are indeed problems infesting the NHS, many of which are a serious threat to patients.  The day-to-day running of hospitals has been deteriorating under the current government, and will not improve until local hospitals are made accountable for their performance.  Decentralizing the current system- giving local hospitals more power to make necessary reforms and establish suitable pay and conditions - and removing politicians from crucial managerial positions - replacing them with experienced managers and senior doctors – would help move us away from the “hope the bed bugs don’t bite” approach to hospital management, to one where we actually fight the bed bugs.         

Latest Blogs:

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Management of the defence estate

11:56 AM 23, Mar 2017 Jan Zeber

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Local Authority Facility Time

1:00 AM 14, Mar 2017 James Price

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

TaxPayers' Alliance respond to the Spring Budget 2017

2:10 PM 08, Mar 2017 The TaxPayers' Alliance

TaxPayers' Alliance Icon

Submission to the Treasury Select Committee - February 2017

9:45 AM 02, Mar 2017 The TaxPayers' Alliance