Biting insects, maggots and rats are just some of the revolting infestations Epsom and St Helier hospitals have called out pest control for.

A freedom of information request revealed bugs have been going around the hospitals including cockroaches and fleas, putting vulnerable patients in danger.

Cockroaches have been found at both hospitals

This year alone pest control have been called out 26 times to creepy-crawly infestations including cockroaches at St Helier Hospital and damp-loving silverfish at Epsom Hospital.

In 2009 Epsom Hospital had an infestation of maggots and over the last five years both hospitals have had problems with rats – which can spread salmonella and carry the potentially fatal Weil’s disease.

Other vermin including foxes and pigeons have also been dealt with by the trust which has an annual budget of £45,000 to spend on pest control. In 2007/8 the trust spent up to £72,189 fighting vermin and buying netting to deter pigeons.

A spokesperson for the Epsom and St Helier trust said: "The trust takes pest prevention and pest control very seriously.

"This year, we have set aside £45,000 to protect our hospitals against pests, but in past years this has been considerably more to take into account spends on preventative measures, for example, in 2007-08 we spent more on netting to deter pigeons nesting on our buildings.

"Pest control inspections take place every week of the year at St Helier and Epsom hospitals. At our smaller site, Sutton Hospital, pest control inspections take place on a fortnightly basis throughout the year.

"When we do get reports of pests then action is taken immediately and robustly to resolve the problem. It is worth noting that the majority of our pest control calls take place in non-patient areas, such as our office buildings.

"To date this year, we have spent almost £14,000 on pest prevention measures, which indicates previous spends on preventative pest control measures are working."
 


BREAKDOWN:

2009
Total of 23 pest control incidents
St Helier Hospital: bedbugs, biting insects, cockroaches, mosquitoes, flies, foxes, wasps, ants and red spider mites
Epsom Hospital: maggots, rats, flies, “fouling”, a pigeon, ants and cockroaches
Nelson Hospital: cockroaches
Sutton Hospital: wasps nest

2010
Total of 29 pest control incidents
St Helier Hospital: bedbugs (multiple occasions)  and a cockroach
Epsom Hospital: biting insects, cockroaches, a rat, bedbugs and a wasps nest
Nelson Hospital: a magpie, mice, cockroaches and fleas
Sutton Hospital: cockroaches, ants, wasps nests and mice

2011
Total of 48 pest control incidents
St Helier Hospital: rats, fleas, cockroaches, ants, red spider mites, pigeons, wasps nest, “insect activity”, biting insects and bedbugs
Epsom Hospital: a rodent, bedbugs, pigeons, cockroaches, ants and wasps
Nelson Hospital: a “distressed animal”, ants, pigeons and fleas
Sutton Hospital: ants, wasps
Epsom and Ewell Cottage: flying ants

2012
Total of 28 pest control incidents
St Helier Hospital: cockroaches, rodents, bedbugs, wasps, cluster flies and rats
Epsom Hospital: cockroaches, a mouse, birds nest, wasp nests and bedbugs
Nelson Hospital: a fox and fleas

2013
Total of 26 pest control incidents so far
St Helier Hospital: pigeons, fleas, ants, “fly activity”, red spider mites, cockroaches and a fox
Epsom Hospital: silverfish, ants, pigeons and biting insects
Sutton Hospital: ants and wasps