Patients are safe: FSH

Last week, Australian Nursing Federation (WA) secretary Mark Olson said patients had been exposed to risk due to poor sterilisation of medical equipment, managed by contractor Serco.

Mr Olson said patients should be tested for HIV and other serious diseases.

However a spokesman for FSH said the claims, specifically those regarding potential HIV infection, were incorrect and created unnecessary alarm.

�No patient at FSH is at risk of contracting a blood-borne virus such as HIV and Hepatitis C,� the spokesman said. �FSH uses extensive methods, processes and equipment to sterilise surgical equipment in line with the Australian Standard. The hospital prides itself on delivering safe and quality care to all of its patients.�

The spokesman said patients did not require blood tests as a result of surgery at FSH.

�The high temperatures applied to instruments and equipment during the sterilisation process ensures that there is no risk to patients.�

Meanwhile, Australian Medical Association (WA) President Michael Gannon said Health Minister Kim Hames should examine the performance of Serco and the contract for sterilisation services at the hospital.

�If there is any doubt about Serco�s expertise or experience in this area, the contract should be cancelled immediately,� Dr Gannon said. �If the Minister decides to cancel the sterilisation contract and hand responsibility for sterilisation to the Health Department and FSH, he would have the AMA�s strong support.�

Dr Gannon said there was increasing public concern about the contract standards at FSH, many of which were based on problems around Serco and the sterilisation service.

�It is now time to examine Serco�s role at FSH. They do not have the skills or the expertise to run the sterilisation service at FSH and we therefore have severe doubts they have the skills necessary to run other services,� he said.