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AHCP launches award for 'healthier healthcare cleaners'

Published 9th July, 2010 by Neil Nixon

AHCP launches award for 'healthier healthcare cleaners'

The Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (AHCP) has confirmed details of its new President's Award. For 2010/11 the award will be given for improving the health and well being of cleaning staff - making healthier healthcare cleaners.

The AHCP President's Award focusses on developing the skills and well being of healthcare cleaners - an area which has, until now, not received a high level of attention. The new award was announced recently by AHCP president Dr. Liz Jones at the association's annual conference in Bristol. It showcases, acknowledges and rewards action and achievement in a field selected each year by the association's president.

The 2010/11 theme of improving health and well being - making healthier healthcare cleaners - stems from sessions entitled 'Caring for ourselves' at the AHCP's recent national conference. Areas planned for future awards could include raising individual skill levels in areas such as communications and IT or developing team building and leadership skills.

Healthy staff are vital to any organisation. Patients need healthy staff to treat them and this means cleaners as well as doctors and nurses. Managers have a key role in promoting the health of their staff and the President's Award challenges service managers to take action. There are many ways this can be done. Examples given include implementing health screening and exercise programmes, healthy eating schemes and smoking cessation campaigns.

Any initiative to improve the health of cleaners working in the NHS is eligible for entry and all staff delivering cleaning services or involved in promoting health in the NHS can enter. Those who are not members of the AHCP will be encouraged to join but are not compelled to do so in order to participate. Projects should have been set up within the last two years but older ones are still eligible provided activities are on-going. Entries need not be targeted exclusively at cleaning staff, but should show clearly how cleaning staff are involved and demonstrate what the benefits to cleaners are.

The initial selection process will take place at AHCP regional level and branch winners will receive full day workshops on presentation skills. Winning team members will receive funded places at the AHCP Annual Conference, where finalists will make presentations before the announcement of a winner or winning team. In addition to the award, the winning entry will receive funding to develop the project further, as well as prizes for team members.

Applications are invited now and the selection process will be on- going during 2010 with the first award due to be given at Annual Conference 2011.

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