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A shining example
There is no sector of the cleaning profession
that is under the spotlight more than
Healthcare. Never a day goes by without the
media somewhere in the UK having something
negative to say about it. Always overlooked are
those hospitals and health centres – NHS
Trusts and independents – that go the extra
cleaning mile – and Plymouth Hospitals NHS
Trust in Plymouth, Devon is one of them.
Derriford Hospital, part of the Plymouth
Hospitals NHS Trust, is the largest acute
hospital in Devon and surrounding counties.
It covers a 15,000 sq.m area, housing 900
continuously occupied beds, so cleaning and
maintenance has to be scheduled around the
patients’ beds and outside of visiting times.
The isolation rooms are cleaned twice a day;
patients with simple messages like “Help keep Isolation rooms undergo a strict cleaning
wards and public areas are on a daily basis
your hospital clean and tidy.” regime to a special infection control cleaning
between 7.30am to 8.00 pm. The clinical areas
One task that has traditionally been really
programme twice a day. Cleaners must wear
are serviced each night and the hospital offices
difficult to complete is floor stripping and
suitable disposable personal protective
at night once a week. This regime is carried out
polishing. With total occupancy it is never
equipment and use hand gel before entry.
meticulously 365 days a year and as a result
possible to empty a ward for half a day to strip When a patient leaves the hospital, the bed
the hospital has won an award for cleaning
and apply four coats of polish – each of which frame, mattress and all surrounding areas are
excellence in the healthcare profession.
normally takes one hour to dry. given a thorough clean before the next patient
The backbone of its cleaning procedures is the
Derriford Hospital’s cleaning team tried a range
is allowed to access the bed.
Government’s standard for healthcare cleaning,
of floor coatings but none could complete the
Infection control training is mandatory for every
‘National Specification for Cleanliness in the
job in the time available. Until they tried Betco
one of the staff and cleaners at the Hospital
NHS ’. This splits cleaning into very high risk
Quick Coat Hard as Nails. This was the only
and updates are frequently given.
areas such as intensive care; high risk wards;
product that met the necessary deadlines and it
significant risk areas which are less clinical
also increased safety because of the reduced
Regular cleaning, hygiene and healthcare
like entrances and stairs not forgetting low risk
time that floors are wet. The first coat takes up
audits are maintained by a team of matrons,
areas like offices.
to ten minutes to dry and subsequent ones
infection control nurses and site services.
A team of infection control nurses ensure that
only 5-8 minutes. It is amazing.
Their task is to ensure maximum hygiene even
hand hygiene is a priority for all and an area
in areas that ‘look’ clean but where bacteria
Derriford Hospital’s Head of Site and
where its contract cleaners were highly rated in
can build up.
Commercial Services Liz McGuffog likes Betco
its annual audit.
because it is supplied in ready mixed sealed
Sometimes you enter a building and it smells
Everyone in the cleaning process knows what
containers for the operator’s back pack. There
good and feels fresh. This hospital looked
to do in every situation. Spills of body fluids is no waste or spillage whilst mixing and no
clean, smelt clean and was extremely well
are first removed by nursing staff and then chance of incorrect dosing as it is provided
cleaned at all times. It’s a pity that a few
sanitised by the cleaners. There is always an ready to use. In addition, the applicator runs
badly cleaned hospitals give so many others
‘out of hours’ team on telephone contact without electricity meaning no troublesome
a bad name.
around the hospital buildings so there is no power cables that people could trip over.
excuse for procrastination.
Floor cleaning is only one illustration of how
Staff education comprises verbal and written thorough the cleaning team and hospital staff
information backed up with promotional investigates every task on the cleaning and
material and posters targeting visitors and hygiene agenda.
| TOMORROW’S CLEANING | The future of our cleaning industry
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