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Wednesday 26th October 2016

Call to end private cleaning

30th April 2008

Nurses have called for an end to hospitals using private firms for cleaning, claiming it has led to a drop in standards.


The Royal College of Nursing conference voted overwhelmingly for hospital cleaning to be brought back in-house to tackle hospital infections.

Figures show that up to 40% of hospitals use private sector cleaning services, a trend that has developed since the 1980s, but the RCN conference heard that this had led to falling standards and a rise in infections.

The conference motion came after a period where the Government has made cleaning a high priority to tackle super bug infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile, with deep cleaning now required at all hospitals in England.

A number of nurses spoke in support of the proposal.

May McCreaddie from Glasgow, said there had been an increase in hospital infections and a decline in cleanliness and that private cleaning firms did not have the public sector ethos of in-house teams.

‚ÄúThere was higher staff turnover which contributed to poorer performance,‚Ä? she said.

Derek Blackshaw, from Salisbury, said as well as bringing cleaning back in-house, it was important nurses on the wards were given responsibility for overseeing cleaning.

Andrew Large, the director general of the Cleaning and Support Services Association which represents private cleaning firms, without contract cleaning, UK hospitals would be in a lot worse state than they currently are.

The Department of Health said ensuring that hospitals were clean and safe was not as simple as bringing all cleaning in-house.


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