Nurses should be able to help clean healthcare establishments where relevant but dedicated cleaning should be ‘left to the experts’ according to a new opinion poll.
The online cleaning industry blog site www.cleanleanhealthcare.org asked the question: should nurses also have to help clean hospitals in the NHS because of budget cuts? Some 63% of those who took part in the poll said they think nurses should clean at some stage if required, but most with a condition that only when it is relevant. A further 30% say nurses should not have to clean at any time, with 7% voting that they should help to clean ‘sometimes.’
This follows a recent survey of 1000 NHS nurses and healthcare assistants on cleaning practices and attitudes which found that a third of respondents had cleaned toilets or mopped floors in the previous 12 months. Moreover, almost three quarters of those responding to the survey had received no training on how to perform these duties.
Brian Boll, systems director at Jigsaw Cleaning, who ran the survey, said: “The picture emerging is that most people think that while nurses should be flexible, the cleaning should be left to the experts when it comes to deep cleaning, especially around infectious patient areas. With the skills, methods and products now available, we believe efficient, cost-effective cleaning of these areas should be achievable by trained staff dedicated to doing it.”
The opinion poll and survey follow criticism of Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Foundation Trust for leaving nurses to deep clean bed areas following the discharge or transfer of infectious patients. The Department of Health has recently released figures which show that NHS spending on cleaning last year was up £40.7 million to £937.9 million.