Rat, fleas, bedbugs, flies and cockroaches - damning figures released by the Conservatives show that 70 per cent of NHS Trusts bought in pest controllers at least 50 times each between January 2006 and March 2008.
Vermin were found in wards, clinics and even operating theatres, with rats reported in one maternity unit, and a children's A & E department also being infested with flies. Wasps were also found in a neo-natal unit and operating theatres.
The Conservatives have named and shamed 89 NHS Trusts that had more than 50 visits from pest controllers. Nottingham University Hospitals topped the table with more than 1,000 incidents reported.
Yet, some critics have argued that the chances of pests transmiting infections in hospitals were very slim, and some of the listed trusts have argued that the figures are misleading especially since hospitals are contracted to regular visits.
Do you think the figures are misleading?
Can you give any examples of when and why pest controllers have been called to your hospital?
Why do you think there is a difference between the numbers of incidents reported by different trusts?
How can these pest 'incidents' be reduced?
Should the figures and the use of pest controllers be viewed in a positive light as proactive management?