Gateshead hospital trust taking urgent action after rats and maggots found - but bosses say no risk to patients

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead.
-Credit: (Image: Newcastle Chronicle)

A Tyneside hospital trust has been taking urgent action to deal with rats and maggots on its premises, bosses confirmed.

The issue has been at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead where NHS bosses said they had faced "recent challenges" and had "swiftly" carried out critical maintenance work. However, the Gateshead Health NHS Trust has confirmed patient-facing services had not been affected.

Rats had been found - but this issue has been resolved - while a "temporary solution" is in place to deal with the maggots. The trust confirmed "urgent actions" to resolve this fully had been identified and patient safety was always the priority.

Read more: Wallsend parents awarded MBEs for raising over £2m for children's cancer research in memory of son Keep up to date with all the latest breaking news and top stories from the North East with our free newsletter

The hospital's maternity unit is rated "good" by the Care Quality Commission despite its ageing buildings - bucking a national trend which has seen maternity services heavily criticised elsewhere in the country. The trust confirmed that an "incident management group" had been established to deal with the pests urgently, and extra cleaning regimes had also been brought in.

Trudie Davies, the trust's chief executive, said: "Like many hospitals, we have challenges facing an ageing estate. Our teams work hard to maintain our estate to a high standard for our patients. In response to recent challenges in our maternity estate, we swiftly undertook critical maintenance this week with no patient services being affected.

"We already have ongoing discussions about how we can improve the environment for our staff and patients as we continue to prioritise patient safety and quality."