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Rat droppings found in Sussex hospitals
Sussex hospital bosses have defended standards following reports about poor hygiene.
A national newspaper said rat droppings had been found in kitchen areas at Southlands Hospital in Shoreham and Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead.
But both hospitals said the reported incidents had happened a long time ago and their standards were fully up to scratch.
Janet Coverdale is deputy director of facilities and estates at Western Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Southlands.
She said: “The trust has not operated kitchens at Southlands Hospital for more than a year, although there are still facilities for visitors and people attending outpatient appointments to get light refreshments.
“Clearly, it is inevitable that in any large building complex there will be pest control challenges throughout the year, but we go to great lengths to combat these challenges.
“We employ specialist pest control services to minimise the potential of any problems, and we ensure there are routine inspections of all our sites every month.
“Our hospitals are consistently rated very highly for hygiene, we fully comply with all current food hygiene regulations and we have rigorous hygiene controls in place at every stage of the food process.”
A spokeswoman for Queen Victoria Hospital said: “We would like to reassure our patients and visitors that we have excellent standards of cleanliness.
“Following three consecutive years of excellent ratings from local environmental health officers, a pest control concern was raised following an environmental health inspection in October.
“However, we were already in the process of addressing the points raised.
“Environmental health officers were satisfied that appropriate action had been completed at a follow-up inspection a few days later.
“We received another excellent rating at our most recent inspection in April.
“We have consistently scored ‘excellent’ or ‘good’ in the annual PEAT assessment of our environment and food for each of the last three years.”