Infection control measures at Borders General Hospital in Melrose have been criticised after inspectors raised concerns over the risk to staff and patients.

The hospital has also been told to improve its cleaning methods in a report by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI).

The report raises concern over a “number of instances” where risk wasn’t taken into account in ward eight at the hospital.

“The inspection team found no consideration of risk in relation to visitors, staff or patients, their condition, their effects on other patients and the environment,” the report says.

It adds: “Out-of-date medicines were found in the drug refrigerator and the inspection team was unable to ascertain whether the medicine had been used.”

The report also found there was no evidence of a consistent approach to cleaning patient equipment or formal allocation of cleaning duties.

Parts of the physical environment were not conducive to good infection control and waste management policies were not being followed.

The report sets out 10 requirements and a further three recommendations for improvement at the hospital, but an action plan for improvements has been developed by NHS Borders.

The overall perception of cleanliness in the hospital was good, according to the report, but Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said the findings were “clearly disappointing.”

She added: “It’s plain that urgent improvements are necessary at Borders General Hospital and I expect this report to act as a catalyst for immediate change.

“I have asked my officials to provide all necessary support to ensure NHS Borders puts in place a robust infection control policy.

“Patients deserve the highest standards from our health service - wherever they live in Scotland. This report, which highlights serious shortcomings, must now be used to ensure that is exactly what Borders residents get.”