September 6, 2008
Plagues of Pests Found in Hospitals
EXTERMINATORS have been called in to deal with hundreds of infestations of rats, mice, cockroaches and fleas at Scots hospitals.
In one case, an operating theatre was infested with millipedes.
At another hospital, insects were found in food stores.
Figures shows that health boards in Grampian, Tayside and the Highlands are spending thousands on pest controllers every year.
NHS Tayside have had 321 pest outbreaks this year - 174 were ants and 45 involved rodents.
NHS Highland dealt with wasps' nests, mice, rats, bats and cockroaches .
The millipede infestation was at Mackinnon Memorial Hospital in Broadford, Skye.
NHS Grampian refused to give details of their outbreaks.
Scotland Patients Association chairwoman Margaret Watt said: "The cleanliness in our hospitals is not what it should be.
"We're trying to tackle hospital acquired infections but surely this adds to the problem."
Scottish Conservative health spokeswoman Mary Scanlon said: "It can hardly come as a surprise that we have hospital acquired infections."
A Scottish government spokeswoman said she was unaware of a link between infestations and infections.
She added all NHS boards in Scotland have pest-control contracts in place for "this common problem".
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