Health officials have defended cleaning practices in the Orange Hospital emergency department after a visitor claimed it was not being cleaned often enough to prevent the risk of coronavirus infection.
Julie Cornish said she was in the ED for about four hours on Monday afternoon and said she did not see any staff wipe or clean surfaces.
She said at least four patients lay on a bed covered with a vinyl sheet without it being wiped clean between use.
However, the WNSWLHD said the ED was receiving regular and adequate cleaning.
I was absolutely gobsmacked.Julie Cornish, Orange Hospital ED visitor
A spokeswoman said anyone with COVID-19 symptoms was not allowed in the normal ED area.
"If a patient presents to the ED and is a suspected COVID-19 case they are managed in a separate area of the ED," she said.
The spokeswoman said all staff and the public had their temperatures checked and were questioned before entering the ED.
Mrs Cornish said she attended the ED on Monday to assist a friend who needed treatment.
"I was absolutely gobsmacked," she said. "For (about) four hours, nothing was wiped.
If a patient presents to the ED and is a suspected COVID-19 case they are managed in a separate area of the ED.WNSWLHD spokeswoman
"Sick people are coming into the area. I can't understand why there is not a cleaner coming in," she said.
Mrs Cornish said she attended West Orange Baptist Church where, like all places of worship, coronavirus rules had to be followed.
"At church we have to wipe everything down," she said.
"Why aren't they doing it in the hospital?"
She said when she went to the bathroom she found the toilet seat was dirty and had to wipe it clean before using it.
A WNSWLHD spokeswoman said cleaning was scheduled for public areas throughout the day.
"High contact surfaces are being cleaned and disinfected more often during the COVID-19 pandemic with approved hospital grade products," she said.
"All patients attending Orange Hospital are screened at a triage point upon entering the facility.
"Anyone who presents with COVID-19 symptoms will be referred for testing at our clinics and asked to wait in their vehicle until their test."
"People with symptoms are not allowed entry into the hospital for any reason other than testing," the spokeswoman said.
She said the ED had a dedicated cleaner rostered each day.
"Beds, floors and surfaces are cleaned by cleaners and medical equipment is cleaned by nursing staff. Nursing staff replace the sheets or coverings on the bed or chairs between each patient. Frequently touched surfaces are cleaned regularly by nursing staff with alcohol wipes or disinfectant," she said.
The spokeswoman said staff were trained, educated and deemed competent on cleaning requirements and the use of personal protective equipment to mitigate any risk to patients, staff and visitors.
She said there were signs in the toilets stating anyone with concerns about the cleanliness should call Spotless Cleaning Services to report an issue.
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