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Health Audit report does not support Shaw's claim of infection at Cornwall in July

Published:Friday | November 6, 2015 | 11:12 PM
Shaw ... last week produced what he said were excerpts from the audit which suggested that the health ministry knew of an infection outbreak in the neonatal unit at the Cornwall Regional Hospital from as early as July.

The findings of the audit of Jamaica’s health facilities do not support claims by Opposition Spokesman Audley Shaw that auditors reported there was a deadly infectious outbreak at the Cornwall Regional Hospital from July.

Last week Shaw produced what he said were excerpts from the audit which suggested that the health ministry knew of an infection outbreak in the neonatal unit at the Cornwall Regional Hospital from as early as July.

He told a JLP mass rally in May Pen, Clarendon, that on the day in July that the audit team arrived at Cornwall Regional Hospital, there was an infection outbreak in the neonatal unit.

The Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson had said he first became aware of the Serratia and Klebsiella outbreaks on October 12.

READ: Four months, 18 babies dead and the health minister in the dark

However, the report released today, states that the audit team started working at the hospital on May 28, which would have been more than a month before the first reported case in July.

TIMELINE: The #DeadBabiesScandal ... How the hospitals responded

Further, the report makes no mention of an infectious outbreak at the Cornwall Regional Hospital during the time of the audit.

Its only finding relating to the neonatal intensive care unit was that there was inadequate adherence to infection control procedures in the facility.

READ: Health audit reports

According to the audit report, there was no proper hand-washing at the start of shifts by staff.

However, the report noted that there have been infection outbreaks in the special care nursery at the hospital in the past five years.