Investigation shows pest problems in Welsh hospitals
An investigation into pest control at Welsh hospitals have shown that more than 1,100 call-outs have been made within the last two years to deal with unwanted pests.
The investigation, carried out by the Wales on Sunday newspaper, showed that reports had been made of rats, fleas, cockroaches and maggots at the seven health boards across the country.
The shadow health minister, Nick Ramsay, called the findings "absolutely nightmarish" and has demanded that an immediate government review be carried out into the problem.
The data was released following a comprehensive Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by the newspaper, which showed that the boards had cumulatively spent £258,029 battling vermin in two years. The Aneurin Bevan Board - which covers Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen - accounted for the highest proportion of that sum, with a bill of £81,915.
The FOIA request was made a year after the University Hospital of Wales’ mortuary had to be closed for six weeks, after a damning inspection uncovered evidence of insect infestations, among other issues.
Mr Ramsay, the Conservative Welsh Assembly Member for Monmouth, said, "What I am afraid of is that it will cause people to be afraid to go into hospitals across the public sector.
"We have to have a minimum level of cleanliness that people would expect and these figures blow that apart completely," he added.