SIR – I reply to your item about the state of hygiene in our hospitals. Having been a patient on a surgical ward at the Lister Hospital, I can still remember seeing dust under the bed of a patient opposite me. When the sun came out and illuminated the flo

SIR - I reply to your item about the state of hygiene in our hospitals. Having been a patient on a surgical ward at the Lister Hospital, I can still remember seeing dust under the bed of a patient opposite me. When the sun came out and illuminated the floor, I notified a member of staff but it emerged that no one was aware that the cleaner had been absent for a number of days or who was designated to clean the ward when the cleaner was absent.

Matters were immediately rectified as a number of cleaners descended and everything was given a good cleaning.

Yes, and I did contract an infection after surgery and on this ward.

Might I suggest through your newspaper that Lister Hospital should cut down visiting times and also the number of visitors round a bed, six or seven around one bed was not unusual. One person was sitting on the bed cover, and also there were a number of small children playing on the ward floor whilst eating biscuits with all the attendant crumbs. I personally observed all these things, but did not see any members of staff object or say anything.

Incidentally the crumbs remained in situ while the drugs trolley was pushed through to my amazement.

How could the Trust be unaware that a vital members of staff, the cleaners, had not been doing their job because they were absent?



SIR - I am not happy with the hygiene at Lister Hospital when there are many staff in their uniforms sitting on the floor by the bus stop having their tea and cigarettes in the nice weather.

When it is raining they are in the bus stop sitting on the bench and on the floor. We often cannot get in the bus stop to get a seat because of their smoking, we have to stand in the rain. I cannot say that it is hygienic going to work in uniforms where they can pick up germs

Thanks Louise, we need people like you to see what is going on in our town


Baron Court


SIR - I would like to point out an observation I have made after reading your article concerning the increase of MRSA at the hospitals.

I pass the bus station on my way to work and notice that many of the people standing, waiting for a bus taking them to the hospital are wearing the same overalls and uniforms they wear when working at the hospital.

They wait on the same benches and sit on the same seats on the bus as does the general public.

Surely, germs are introduced into the hospital when this sort of practice is allowed.

Also, how many times have you visited the hospital and seen what appears to be theatre personnel, shuffling up and down the corridors and in the café, wearing their operating gowns?



SIR - I am disgusted at the state of cleanliness of our hospitals in Hertfordshire.

Twenty years ago I worked as a cleaner on the children's ward at Lister Hospital and I mean worked. I had pride in keeping the ward and corridors clear. We had supervisors over us, every couple of weeks everywhere we cleaned was inspected to the point that they ran fingers over the tops of doors, behind radiators, etc, to make sure there was no dirt around. We had never heard of MRSA. In my opinion since it was privatised that was when the trouble started, they could not get the dedicated staff which I worked with.

I left for a job in Social Services after five years, working as an ambulance driver, because I heard of the private firms coming in and taking over the cleaning contract.


Grace Way


SIR - I have been a housekeeper at Hitchin (Community) Hospital since August 23 and am not impressed by the cleaning standards of the housekeepers. For instance, I have found spots (which look like blood and faeces) under every bed I have cleaned, not mentioning the dead skin and dust. Can this be a health risk and maybe cause MRSA?



SIR - There will be no decrease in the spread of hospital infections and the grief this causes while nursing. hospital staff are allowed to wear their uniforms outside the hospital, on buses, in cafes, or on the street as is frequently seen. All uniforms should be kept in hospital and put on before duty.

All the hand washing alone cannot help when visitors are allowed to sit and lay on patient's beds and contamination is spread.

This process was the normal way of life during my many years of nursing in the past when infections were negligible.



SIR - I have just received my Comet and I am absolutely appalled at the article on the front page regarding the Lister Hospital. Don't you think that the staff there have had enough to contend with, what with the rumours of redundancies and everything else. It is not only the staff but the amount of people you must have frightened and those waiting to go in for treatment.

I have been in Lister Hospital twice to have knee replacements and then two years ago I had a massive stroke. On all of these occasions I was not aware of any of those things mentioned in your article. The treatment I received was second to none, the surgeons and the nurses work tirelessly to keep the patients comfortable, the cleaners clean the wards and change the beds every day. The only thing I did notice was how tired the nurses and doctors were after their long shifts and I think it would be better for you to write about this on the front page of your paper.

Thank you, Lister Hospital, for keeping me alive.


Blenheim Way


SIR - Those two dear old workhorses, the Lister and QE11 Hospitals, have served us well for many years. How sad therefore, to read of their present sad state of health (The Comet September 28). I fear that there is only one solution to restore them to full health and vigour - radical surgery must be performed to excise the whole executive and management and outsource their jobs to India.


Watton Road