Inspectors from the Health Information and Quality Authority have identified a number of issues at Tallaght hospital.

HIQA highlighted the need for new toilet facilities in theatre areas, better hygiene controls and areas for improvement relating to medication management and unsafe injection practices.

After a visit by inspectors in September, HIQA is recommending that the hospital reviews the practice relating to the preparation and administration of intravenous medication to ensure potential risks to patients are fully mitigated.

HIQA has said it is satisfied the hospital is working towards improving hand-hygiene compliance at all levels.

However, compliance in national audits, local internal audits and practices observed by inspectors remains below the HSE national target of 90%.

Responding to the report, a Tallaght hospital statement said: "'Tallaght Hospital accepts the findings of this HIQA report arising out of an inspection carried out in September.

"The hospital fully engaged with the Authority's inspection process and views it as an important external review of the very high standards the hospital strives to maintain in the area of infection prevention and control."

The statement continued: "The Hospital has already implemented a number of the recommendations of the report arising out of the September review and further actions are being implemented and monitored as part of the hospital's ongoing Quality Improvement Plan."

Elsewhere, in a separate unannounced visit to the Midland Regional Hospital in Tullamore, HIQA highlighted concerns over infection-prevention standards and sought assurances from the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group in relation to these risks.

Further investigation at Hospital Group level identified deficiencies at the hospital in relation to healthcare-associated infection prevention and control.

HIQA said the hospital has implemented changes to improve infection prevention and control and related governance arrangements.

HIQA says it is imperative that the hospital and Hospital Group management team maintains vigilance in relation to infection-prevention-control performance and ensure ongoing improvements where necessary.

General Manager of Tullamore hospital Orlagh Claffey said: “We welcome today’s report by HIQA. Patient safety and welfare is at the heart of everything we do.

"This report has highlighted where we need to improve and do better, particularly in respect of infection control.

"Progress is being made at our hospital to ensure high standards are achieved and maintained. However, we do not take the recommendations in today’s report lightly.

"We strive to meet all national patient safety standards and have taken measures, particularly around governance and management structures, and are confident that these new structures will address deficiencies identified and we have already begun to see positive outcomes in this regard,” she said.

CEO of the Dublin Midlands Hospital Group Dr Susan O’Reilly said: “All hospitals within the group are acutely conscious of the need for improvements in all aspects of patient care and are striving to meet their obligations in this regard.

"At the core of HIQA’s work is the enhancement of patient safety in all healthcare facilities across Ireland and the development of uniform national standards.

Our group is fully supportive of this process and committed to ensuring all patients receive the highest standards of care,” Dr Reilly added.