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Bacteria colonised Hospital ward in Swansea, prompting £2Million refurbishment

A GROUP of bacteria has colonised a hospital ward in Swansea to such an extent that a £2 million refurbishment is being recommended to get rid of them.

The bacteria group are called Carbapenemase-producing organisms, or CPO. They are naturally found in the gut but have become resistant to a number of antibiotics.

A report before Swansea Bay University Health Board said Ward G at Morriston Hospital, which cares for patients with complex gastrointestinal conditions before and after surgery, has has had a CPO outbreak since September 2019.

The report said patients with a positive CPO diagnosis may not suffer any significant ill-effects, but that the ward has been having to manage with a limited patient flow and an increased risk of spread.

A deep clean of Ward G has taken place but it did not eradicate the bacteria, and further spread has occurred.

Health board chiefs have previously considered remedial actions – including the most expensive one which is being recommended again – but the Covid pandemic prevented work from going ahead.

The board will be asked to confirm approval of the £2 million refurbishment scheme, which has been refined, when it meets on May 27.

The report said: “The prevalence of this organism on Ward G is such that more radical action than that taken previously is required.

“The usual and enhanced cleaning regimes adopted by the health board have not been successful thus far and it is the view of the IPC (infection prevention and control) team that this organism is now colonised on Ward G.”

The ward currently has four cubicles with four to six beds, and four single-bed cubicles – two of which are en-suite. A business case recommending the refurbishment said the ward was outdated, and that patients’ privacy and dignity was limited.

The scheme would convert two of the multi-bed cubicles into four single-bed ones with en-suite facilities. Bathroom facilities would be improved for the other two multi-bed cubicles.

The overhaul would reduce the number of beds by up to six, and the ward would have to be vacated and deep cleaned prior to the project starting.

Fire protection improvements would also be made, windows replaced, and staff and office space reconfigured.

The report said: “There is an opportunity to fully refurbish Ward G and create a ward environment that meets the needs of the patient population admitted to that ward and move towards the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation to have 50% single occupancy accommodation on each hospital ward.”

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