As a patient admitted to hospital, the last thing you want to hear is the rat-a-tat-tat of the pest controllers at the door. According to the Conservative Party, 70% of health trusts were visited by the insect-busters at least 50 times over a twenty six month period.
However, an indignant health Trust has accused the Tories of twisting their figures to suggest that their hospital is high up on the list of pest-infested offenders. Bromley NHS Trust suggests that the statistics, available to the public under the Freedom of Information Act, have been misinterpreted and include all the occasions when the controllers were contracted to visit on a preventative basis.
According to the Bromley Trust, their contract involved a twice monthly visit, but only three call-outs were actually required, ‘[o]ne for a beetle infestation, once to remove a dead pigeon external to the building and once to remove a pigeon nest’, according to a spokesperson for the Trust. A dead bird external to the building – that’s not really their fault, is it? Where the noble pigeon chooses to lay its head is surely not at the behest of humans, not even civil servants in Bromley.
The Tory figures, presumably an attempt to demonstrate the grubby state of hospitals under the Labour Party, were defended by the Conservatives who maintain that they were not given enough information to categorise the reasons why the pest controllers were called out. However, it sounds like bit of pigeon-holing here would not have gone amiss.
Image courtesy of What What's photostream under the Creative Commons Licence