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 HealthcareHygiene Update

Cleaning to prevent contagion

Kay Timms, UK service delivery manager heading up In Depth’s healthcare division, looks at the importance of using specialist cleaning services in the sector.

and Related Guidance. Hospitals and healthcare environments need to demon- strate that they provide andmaintain a clean and appropriate environment that fa- cilitates the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections. The frequency,method andmonitoring of

cleaningmust take into account the level of potential risk to patient safety posed by in- fections. Very high-risk areas, such as op- erating theatres and intensive care units, require an enhanced cleaning service, with specialist equipment and chemicals, oper- ated by a dedicated team. To prevent cross-contamination, dispos-

able products, including gloves, aprons and mop heads, are recommended in isolation units. There is now a national colour-coding systemin place within the NHS for hospital cleaningmaterials and equipment. This should be followed at all times by cleaners and is aimed at ensuring that these items are not used inmultiple areas, therefore re- ducing the risk of cross-infection. Responsible contract cleaning providers

who offer services in these types of envi- ronment need to have an excellent knowl- edge of the regulations and train staff to comply within these guidelines, which will also formthe basis of any infection control policies drawn up by the individual clinic or hospital. We’ve noticed an increase in demand for

Controlling the spread of healthcare-asso- ciated infections (HAIs) is a priority for any healthcare provider, and keeping the envi- ronment clean is an essential weapon in the fight tominimise the risk of cross infec- tion. HAIs are estimated by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) to occur in nearly 4.1million pa- tients, and kill nearly 37,000 people in the EU annually [1]. Common human pathogens, such asme-

thicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA), Clostridiumdifficile, and noroviruses can survive for prolonged peri- ods on hospital surfaces. Themajority of these infections are preventable, particu- larly through keeping the environment clean and using well-designed infection controlmethods. Micro-organisms that could cause dis-

ease are known to survive on inanimate ‘touch’ surfaces for extended periods of time, for example - bedrails, over-the-bed trays, call buttons and bathroomhardware -making it essential for this type of envi- ronment to be cleaned by specialist staff who are trained to comply with NHS guide- lines on cleaning in healthcare environ- ments. Responsible contract cleaning providers

need to have an excellent knowledge of the regulations and train staff to comply with these regulations whilst allowing health

20 l C&M l JUNE 2014 l

Micro-organisms that could cause disease are known to survive on inanimate ‘touch’ surfaces for extended periods of time.

professionals to focus on delivering excel- lent patient care. The Revised Healthcare CleaningManual (2009) provides guidance on cleaning techniques and best practice advice on defining responsibilities, sched- uling work,measuring outcomes, plus re- porting and driving improvements. The regulations are supported by the Code of Practice for the NHS on the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections

reliable, expert cleaners in this environ- ment. Having built up considerable expert- ise in this area over a number of years, we have launched a dedicated healthcare cleaning division focusing on hospitals, dialysis centres, nursing and care homes, and dental surgeries.

[1] European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, focus on healthcare-associ- ated infections, annual epidemiological re- port, 2008.

Barnsley Hospital awards cleaning contract

G4S Integrated Services has been awarded a three-year contract to deliver healthcare cleaning services for Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. The contract, worth almost £11million, with the option to extend for a further two years, will involve G4S Integrated Services providing cleaning services and housekeeping to the 500 bed hospital, which serves a population of over a quarter of a million people in the Barnsley area. The contract started on 1 April 2014, with approximately 300 staff expected to transfer to G4S Integrated Serv-

ices from incumbent Initial Facilities Healthcare under TUPE employment regulations. The contract was awarded on merit following a robust procurement process that commenced in early 2013, using a scoring system against a range of criteria. These included a match to the trust’s quality requirements and national standards of cleanli- ness, health and safety requirements, HR practices, and price. Stuart Mold, director of G4S Integrated Services, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Barnsley Hospital

NHS Foundation Trust. We have an extensive and impressive track record of delivering value for money and high quality facilities management services across the healthcare sector and are looking forward to delivering an ex- cellent service for the people of Barnsley.” Lorraine Christopher, associate director of estates and facilities, Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, said:

“We are very much looking forward to working with G4S Integrated Services in this new partnership. G4S Inte- grated Services has an excellent track record in supplying high quality domestic services, including considerable experience with NHS hospitals. We are very confident that our partnership be highly beneficial for our patients and staff. We would like to place on record our thanks to Healthcare Initial for all of its work over the past few years.”

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