HIQA has raised concerns about the maintenance and management of equipment used to treat patients at Bantry General Hospital in Co Cork.

The authority carried out an unannounced inspection at one of the hospital's medical wards on 2 April.

It found that, overall, the 33-bed ward was clean, but needed improvement to ensure ongoing cleanliness.

Inspectors said they had raised significant concerns after equipment used to undertake a liver biopsy was found in a dish on top of a bedpan washer.

It was unclean and visibly stained with blood, posing a risk of infection.

The issue was brought to the attention of the ward manager at the time of the inspection, and addressed immediately.

Inspectors said they also raised concerns about a dirty urinal which was stored beside other clean urinals, and a bedpan filled with water which was found in a sink used for cleaning patient equipment.

These issues were addressed after being brought to the attention of the ward manager.

HIQA also found that some improvements were needed with regard to hand hygiene at the hospital.

An unannounced inspection was also carried out in the 18-bed stroke rehabilitation unit at Louth County Hospital in Dundalk on 3 April.

HIQA reported 'some improvements' in the cleanliness and maintenance of the environment and patient equipment in the unit.

It said, in general, the area was clean, "with some exceptions".

Inspectors reported that there was a lack of waste disposal bins in the bathrooms of the stroke unit. They also found chipped paintwork, some dusty surfaces, scuffed walls, and staining on a patient's bed curtain.