Report slams cleanliness at Neath Ambulance Station
WATCHDOGS found poor standards of cleanliness when they carried out a spot check of Neath Ambulance Station.
The Healthcare Inspectorate Wales found a series of failings in the station building and in two ambulances there at the time.
The Welsh Ambulance Service says it has taken immediate action to deal with the issues raised.
In a critical report, the HIW said: "The general standard of cleanliness was found to be poor.
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"The station has not had a domestic cleaner employed for some time and the impact of this was evident."
The report highlighted several failings.
The shower and toilet facilities for staff were found to be poor, the "dirty utility" washing area was in a poor condition and cluttered with a number of items stored by the sink and on work surfaces.
Inspectors said clear processes had been put in place for vehicle contamination but these were not being implemented at the time of the visit.
Staff reported they were not always able to get hold of clean linen. The storage room was cluttered with boxes, making it hard to clean.
"Some of the equipment was found to be out of date," the report noted. "Staff should ensure that equipment dates are checked, rotated and replaced when required."
Two ambulances were there at the time of the visit. "The stretchers were found to be clean and ready to use.
"However, other surface areas within both vehicles were found to be dusty and oily. This included suction units and oxygen cylinders.
"The chairs in the patient area of both vehicles were found to be torn, allowing fluids, dirt and bacteria to penetrate the material.
"These should be re-covered or replaced."
Neath was one of three stations to be inspected.
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said: "We are concerned with the issues identified within the report and have taken immediate action to address the matters.
"The cleanliness of our stations and vehicles is an extremely important issue and we are making every effort to prevent cross infection, both in ambulance stations and on vehicles."