> Cleaning Industry News June 2008
THE CSSA REJECTS NURSES CALL FOR RETURN TO IN HOUSE HOSPITAL
After the vote by the Royal
College of Nursing at their recent conference to campaign for an end
to contracted out cleaning, CSSA Director General Andrew Large said: "Without
contract cleaning, UK hospitals would be in a lot worse state than they
He went on to say, "In February, a NHS Cleaning Summit brought together
all of the key players in hospital cleaning, to look for shared solutions
to the current issues. This is a collaborative exercise that recognises
it is better to work together for the good of patients rather than engage
in futile arguments about state ownership. It would be much more constructive
if the RCN were to put its weight behind these efforts rather than playing
The report by The Cleaning and Support Services Association (CSSA), goes
on to state that some 60 to 65% of UK hospitals are in-house cleaned.
Yet it claims that despite this, the UK has one of the worst healthcare
associated infection rates in Europe. In the recent deep clean programme,
contract cleaners were brought in to support in house cleaners that could
not cope with the work.
They go on to say that, without fundamental improvements in hand hygiene,
bed management and antibiotic prescribing practice, no amount of cleaning,
whoever does it, is going to make a difference to infection rates. Also
that the real issues are common to all NHS cleaning operations, be they
outsourced or in-house.
They are the under-resourcing of cleaning, low prioritisation of cleaning
by NHS Trusts and a lack of screening and segregation of patients with
infections. Unless these issues and the others mentioned above are resolved
then the situation will not improve.
Cleaning contractors offered free advice by the
Health and Safety Executive
The Health and Safety
Executive are now offering free advice to cut workplace accidents
in the cleaning industry. Their current promotion is called the shattered
lives campaign and is aimed at those most at risk and those best placed
to take action to avoid accidents. Therefore cleaning contractors, estate
managers and facilities managers are their main targets.
More than 1000 British workers a month suffer serious injury following
a slip, trip or fall. The HSE's advice helps equip businesses with the
skills needed to assess the risks associated with cleaning. Statistics
reveal that 3.3 million working days were lost in London due to workplace
injury and ill health in 2006/7.
Preventing workplace incidents is good for the health of employees, therefore
research and information is being made available on many subjects including
safety clothing, footwear, gloves,
equipment etc, along with advice specifically for preventing falls. Information
on floor cleaning, contamination control
and how to manage chemicals to avoid dermatitis is also offered.
For further assistance contact the HSE on 020 7556 2187 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
AMBULANCES COMPLETELY MISSED IN MAJOR HOSPITAL CLEAN UP
The government recently spent millions to clean hospitals but allocated
nothing to clean the ambulances used to transport patients to and from
the hospitals, according to a recent survey by Unison,
the public services union.
With widely differing methods of cleaning ambulances throughout the country,
many are often found to be too dirty and become a means of transmitting
potentially fatal viruses and bacteria to patients, especially
Staphylococcus aureus and Clostridium difficile.
Unfortunately experts in cleaning and disinfecting are hardly ever used,
the result being that the paramedics are often forced to tidy up themselves,
thus wasting precious time and more importantly, not doing a thorough
job. The only precaution taken in most cases is to disinfect the vehicle
after being used to transport a patient suffering from a known virus or
Luckily, however, there are a few cases of excellence, such as the London
Ambulance Service that has now employed expert cleaners for every
vehicle. These firms clean the vehicles thoroughly and regularly replace
instruments used by the paramedics.
HOSPITALS STILL STRUGGLING TO COMPLETE CLEANING PROGRAMME
The widely publicised hospital "deep clean" operation,
continues to struggle to hit targets, as a number of trusts admit they
will still miss the new deadline, including one that doesn't expect to
finish until October. A target of March this year was originally set,
but ministers were forced to move that to the end of June, giving hospitals
an extra three months to halve their rates of MRSA infection.
Such actions are an admission of failure by the Government, say campaigners.
Liberal Democrat health spokesman Norman Lamb said the original deadline
was "clearly March of this year" but added: "The moving
of goalposts by the Government is all too familiar."
Firms hired to carry out the hygiene blitz also warn that it is no more
than a publicity stunt which will fail to halt the spread of MRSA or bugs
such as Clostridium difficile. Andrew Large, of the Cleaning
and Support Services
Association, warned more money was needed, "Without further investment
in time or more equipment, things will slip back to the way they were
and we will be no better off," he said.
FACE OF FAMOUS LONDON BUILDING SET FOR MAJOR CLEAN
The face of a famous London building will disappear for nine months while
it is cleaned. The 100-year-old Harrods frontage in Brompton Road will
be hidden behind a giant protective mesh as workmen remove the effects
of pollution from its terracotta tiles. Cleaning the whole outside of
the building will take four years.
A Harrods spokesman said: "The terracotta requires refurbishment
every 10 years. Once finished, it will look like new." Designed by
CW Stephens, the frontage was built between 1901 and 1905. The building,
situated in Brompton Road, Knightsbridge, was given a Grade II listing
Heritage in 2000.