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Thumbs-up for new cleaning initiative

Published 20th July, 2011 by Neil Nixon

Thumbs-up for new cleaning initiative

A healthcare cleaning expert has welcomed the recent introduction of the British Standard for Healthcare Cleaning. Brian Boll, systems director at Jigsaw Cleaning Systems, has outlined the importance of the initiative and has indicated that it will provide much needed assurance to the public.

The British Standard for Healthcare Cleaning, to be known as PAS 5748, was introduced by the Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals (AHCP) at the recently held AHCP conference in Telford. The standard is the first time a British Standards Institute (BSI) backed initiative has been introduced for healthcare cleaning.

Boll said: “Even though substantial cuts are being made to the NHS, the quality of cleanliness in hospitals is something that cannot be allowed to suffer. This standard will go a long way to reassuring the public on hospital cleanliness and, importantly, gives hospitals clear guidelines on how to ensure a clean and safe hospital environment. Patient safety needs to be at the heart of hospital care and the standard provides a framework for continuous improvement to cleanliness. It ensures risks associated with hospital cleanliness have been fully assessed and will assist in the provision of cleanliness in support of infection prevention and improved patient, public and staff confidence.”

PAS 5748 has been developed after a joint research and development programme was entered into by the Department of Health, the BSI and AHCP. The new standard offers guidelines for planning, measuring and improving cleanliness services in the NHS in England.

Although it will not be mandatory for hospitals to use PAS 5748, they will be able to use it to provide good practice evidence to the Care Quality Commission that nationally agreed procedures are in place for their premises to prove they are clean and safe for patients.

PAS 5748 will exist alongside the existing national specifications for cleanliness and is expected to be adopted for use by most NHS trusts as well as other healthcare providers including GP surgeries, clinics and nursing and care homes.

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