By Joe Barrett
SECURITY officers have been placed at the main entrance gate of Portlaoise hospital to prevent medical professionals from leaving the grounds in their scrubs.
The move follows the circulation of a photograph of a medical professional in scrubs walking along a footpath across from the hospital last week raising concerns over infection control measures at the hospital.
A member of the public who took the photograph was of the view that such practice could spread infection from the hospital to the community, or bring in germs from the outside.
When the issue was brought to the attention of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group, of which Portlaoise hospital is a part of, a spokeswoman said that its policy prohibits the wearing of scrubs outside the hospital campus.
The spokesperson said: “The hospital takes these reports very seriously and follows up directly with individuals and has in recent days reissued and restated this very important policy.”
In its guidelines on such matters it states: “It is good professional practice and discipline to wear a clean uniform each day and not to wear the uniform outside of the hospital grounds. Studies show that uniforms are frequently contaminated by disease causing bacteria, which presents a potential source of infection in the clinical setting.”
Security officers took up duty on Tuesday morning at the main gate off the Dublin Road and are on duty from 9.30am to 3.30pm daily.
It is understood that on the first day of the security detail one medical professional wearing scrubs had to be reminded of the policy.