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Cleaning a path to COVID-19 recovery and future health

Published 11th January, 2021 by Neil Nixon

Cleaning a path to COVID-19 recovery and future health

Steve Broughton, founder and CEO of SafeGroup Services, has commented on how a transformed cleaning industry can play a key role in Health Secretary Matt Hancock's vision of COVID-19 testing technologies transforming future health. Broughton says it is an example of how COVID-19 will fundamentally change the lives of many millions of people in the UK, but not necessarily negatively.

He was commenting after Matt Hancock told a parliamentary committee of MPs the mass testing system set up to tackle COVID-19 could continue to be used to tackle other deadly diseases. Hancock wants to fundamentally change the way we identify illness and intervene early to treat it and prevent the suffering and cost associated with serious disease.

Steve Broughton said: "I could immediately see how the cleaning industry can support his vision. We can help organisations across the UK create healthier and happier environments for staff, customers and the wider public. Mr Hancock's vision acknowledges COVID-19 is likely to have changed our attitude to infection for good. Early intervention to prevent serious illness will have to go hand-in-hand with more intensive disinfection in workplaces and public spaces. This will be a job for a transformed cleaning industry."

Matt Hancock says he wants the newly created ‘massive diagnostic capacity’ to be at the centre of how the NHS treats people before they become seriously ill. Preventing serious illness would save money, not cost more. Steve Broughton continued: "This makes perfect sense. The system will be needed again for the next pandemic. And the best way to maintain such capability is to use it, develop it, and perfect it. This new approach will have to operate in tandem with other changes to everyday practice, also triggered by COVID-19. One of them is our approach to hygiene and cleaning. New standards of disinfection are very likely to be maintained…I believe the pandemic has also changed our attitudes to hygiene, probably for good - which is why more intensive cleaning is here to stay. Matt Hancock's vision for preventing illness adds weight to my conviction. Employees, customers and the public in general will demand cleaner, more hygienic spaces. A pivot towards mass testing for illness, for example for flu, using the NHS's new capabilities will only embed that trend more deeply."

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