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We read with interest the article by Lee and colleagues regarding the
usefulness of random safety audits and how these are effective in
improving safety in practise (1). We can see its benefit and are
supportive of the use this industrial model in clinical practice, as it
adds in our case, to our armament in the fight against infection
especially in areas like neonatal units.
Unlike the mu...
Unlike the multi standard audit carried out by the authors at South
mead, at our unit in Oldham (Large District Hospital 16 neonatal level 2
Cots), we looked at the presence of soft toys and other none hospital
provided items in the cots/incubators. This is to validate the ‘ No soft
toys or religious items in babies cot’s policy’ and to our surprise we
found that 6 out of 10 occupied cots had either soft toys or religious
Of the 16 items found in the 10 cots, swabs were taken from them for
microbiological analysis.The result, revealed Scanty growth of skin
organisms in 7, scanty to moderate growth of coliforms in 3, and scanty
growth of staphylococci in 1.
The result from this safety audit was shared/discussed at our local
weekly Monday neonatal meeting, to emphasize the need to enforce the no
soft toy policy in the neonatal unit. A re- audit is ongoing and our
preliminary observation indicates an improvement.
There is definitely a place for this type of audit in clinical practice
and this should be embraced to improve the patient journey and experience
since it provides a quick feedback.
L Lee, S Girish, E van den Berg, and A Leaf
Random safety audits in the neonatal unit
Arch. Dis. Child. Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2009; 94: F116-F119