A SHOCKING catalogue of filth - including blood, faeces, mould and dust - has been uncovered in a Huddersfield hospital.
An inspection team examined the Huddersfield Royal Infirmary as part of a national Bug Watch survey in October last year.
The Patient Forum's new report tells a tale of bad hygiene, bad practice and a lack of information which could cost lives.
The damning 47-page document says that there is an "urgent" need to increase understanding of the connection between hygiene and hospital super bugs such as MRSA.
It also shows a worrying disparity in hygiene between hospitals in Calderdale and Huddersfield.
The Patient Forum is made up of volunteers and aims to give patients and the public a voice.
The inspection team in Huddersfield found:
* Only 17% of staff washed their hands between caring for different patients or carrying out different tasks compared with 71% at the Halifax hospital.
* Only 50% of staff who washed their hands used the correct technique.
* Half of all ward furniture inspected was either dirty or in a poor state of repair.
The report also highlights a lack of information for visitors coming to see at-risk patients.
Calderdale Royal Infirmary scored 100% in that category, with the HRI scoring just 11%.
During their inspection, the team toured wards and picked out specific problems.
In just one ward, the Patient Forum group saw:
* Blood spots on equipment
* Rubber gloves being used to hold a caution notice together
* Faeces on tiles in a toilet
* A blood pad on the floor
* Dirty towels and dirty pyjamas left on the floor.
In other wards there was black mould growing around sinks.
Director of Nursing, Helen Thomson, said: "We welcome the support of all organisations, including the Patient and Public Involvement Forum, in our efforts to improve standards of cleanliness.
"The forum's Bug Watch Report raised several issues. For example, we are not aware at this stage how many members of staff were actually surveyed.
"I would like to emphasise to the people of Calderdale and Huddersfield that our staff are committed to providing high quality care in a clean and safe environment and continuously work hard towards this goal.
"While there is always room for improvement in standards of cleanliness, it would be of great concern to us if the report created a distorted picture of the hospital environment.
"There are numerous efforts taking place in the trust to highlight the importance of cleanliness, such as the national Clean Your Hands campaign and the annual hand washing roadshow.
"We would also ask people who visit families and friends in hospital to help us in our efforts to keep the environment clean.
"We would also ask people to use their common sense before visiting.
"If they have colds, viral gastro-enteritis or any other contagious illness that could be passed on to others it would obviously be better if they stayed away if possible.
"A joint effort towards hospital cleanliness will always prove to be more successful than the trust working in isolation and we welcome support from organisations, patients and visitors wherever possible."
Helpful steps for visitors include:
* Using the alcohol hand rubs on entering and leaving the ward area
* Controlling the number of visitors where possible
* Helping to keep the patient's bedside area tidy so cleaning staff can carry out their job more effectively
* Removing any dead flowers.