The Government’s £57 million hospital deep clean finished at the end of last month. While most of the NHS Trusts met this deadline for the completion of the cleaning programmes, some did not. However, the major worry in the cleaning industry now concerns what will happen after the deep cleans are over.
Speaking following a CSSA review of the hospital deep cleans Andrew Large, director general of the CSSA, said: “The extra investment in hospital cleaning has generally made a noticeable improvement to standards of cleanliness, which strongly suggests that if more funds and time were available on a permanent basis, higher standards would be maintained. Without such a long term plan from the Government the deep clean risks being seen as a publicity stunt.
“Our major concern now is that there is a leadership vacuum in the NHS on cleaning issues. There are too many different NHS bodies with overlapping responsibilities, and this coupled with the autonomy enjoyed by individual NHS Trusts makes it too easy for responsibility for funding and managing cleaning to be fudged.
“I call on the Government to ensure that the benefits of the deep cleans are not lost, both by granting new long term ring fenced funding for cleaning across the NHS and by giving clear leadership to all NHS Trusts to ensure that cleaning is properly funded and managed.”
In support of the comments made by Andrew Large concerning confusion over who has responsibility for cleaning, it is worth noting that the following bodies all have responsibilities covering cleaning within the healthcare sector: Department of Health; Devolved administrations; NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland; National Patient Safety Agency; Strategic Health Authorities; Individual NHS Trusts; Healthcare Commission; Care Quality Commission; and Health Protection Agency.