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UK has some dirty ambulances transporting patients

By KJ Mullins     Oct 2, 2009 in Health
When inspectors were checking the East of England Ambulance Service they found dirt and lack of infection control information. The service covers Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire.
Ambulances transport people when they are in serious need of medical care, but what happens if that ride is filled with germs and filth?
That could be the case for patients taking a ride in one of the East of England's Ambulances. Inspectors found all of the vehicles in the service dirty and the employees unaware of basic infection protection techniques.
The Telegraph reports:
The CQC report said: ''On inspection, we found evidence that the trust has breached the regulation to protect patients, workers and others from the risks of acquiring a healthcare-associated infection.''
The company has inspections at seven of their 100 stations. Those seven stations all had dirty vehicles and staff "unsure" of how to clean them properly.
The Press Association reports:
"All of the patient-carrying vehicles that were seen were dirty," the report said.
"The surfaces within the vehicles were dirty and there was dust, dirt and debris inside all accessible cupboards.
"Seats were grimy and high levels of dirt and dust were seen in gaps beside seats, in seams of seats and on gel dispensers, window sills and patient carrying equipment.
The ambulance company has some fans. Ronnie and Maxine Rouse donated 400 pounds after reading that the company had a theft of a GPS system on September 21. The company was treating a child in Peterborough when the device was stolen.
Peterborough Today reports:
Mr. Rouse said: "My wife and I decided to give £400 to the ambulance service after we read the story. It hit a note. It could be any of us that need their help."
There have been problems though with that system for the company in the past reports BBC. Logs dating back to 2002 have shown that the GPS system the company uses has given false information during times of crisis. The system did appear to right itself by 2009.
Two of the log reports show the danger that the system has according to the BBC:
• A call out in September 2008 to a "baby going blue" was delayed as the driver programmed the address into the sat-nav "only to find that it would not operate again"
• Responding to a 10-week-old baby going into cardiac arrest in July 2005, the sat-nav failed. "Due to this we felt if affected our response time greatly"
More about East england ambulance service, Dirt, Infection protection
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