Sick Kids’ staff ordered to cut back on nails


STAFF at a leading children’s hospital have been ordered to ditch long nails, varnish and jewellery over the risk of infections.

A report from a surprise inspection raised concerns over domestic workers  and porters at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh, who were spotted wearing watches and bracelets.

Some clinical staff were caught with varnished long nails and “stoned rings” on their fingers, in breach of NHS dress code.

The Healthcare Environment Inspectorate probe, carried out last month, found the hospital was clean but highlighted three areas for improvement.

Hospital chiefs were also told to make sure senior charge nurses oversaw infection prevention measures and waste management rules in their area.



Clinical examination gloves and white aprons were found in domestic waste bins.

The report was generally positive, with staff reported to be washing their hands frequently.

The NHS guidelines are designed to minimise the risk of infection and cross contamination.

The hospital is due to move to a new building, but the project has dragged behind schedule and will have a price tag of £250 million.

The paediatric hospital on Scienes Road, commonly known as the Sick Kids’, has 110 beds.

Labour MSP Sarah Boyack raised questions over the fabric of the current building.


“Action plan”

She said: “It has long been acknowledged that the building is not fir for purpose and we are still over four years away from having a new hospital.

“It has been almost two years since the Scottish Government decided against public funding for the new Sick Kids and delayed the project.

“We need a definite completion date and a clear plan for ensuring that the existing buildings are properly maintained.”

Dorothy Hanley, chief nurse at the Sick Kids’, said: “All of the issues raised have been reviewed and we have an action plan in place to ensure we use the findings of this report to build on out existing high standards.”