Dirty ambulances MRSA 'risk'26th November 2007
According to an investigation by Unison, ambulances could be leaving patients at risk of infection because they are not cleaned thoroughly.
Unison's research showed that there were big differences in the standards and type of cleaning at ambulance trusts in the UK.
The union spoke to ambulance crews across the country. Staff said that the differences in cleaning standards between trusts were largely due to "targets, time and money".
Paramedics said they did not get enough time to check their ambulances and the vehicles were never subject to a deep clean. Unison said that often ambulance teams could only give their vehicles a "quick mop out".
Ambulance teams in the North West said they did not have any "dedicated cleaning
staff or cleaning time".
By contrast London Ambulance Service used cleaners who are on call during the night and "routinely deep clean the fleet". The cleaners also refreshed equipment, allowing paramedics to tend to their patients.
The Unison National Officer for ambulance staff said: "The government recently announced extra money for deep cleaning hospitals, but ambulances seem to have been forgotten."
He added that many teams were left to clean their own vehicles and it was "a waste of their time and training".
Health Minister Ben Bradshaw said the government took the possibility of infection "seriously in all healthcare environments".
He added that evidence did not indicate that infection was a problem in ambulances and they expected trusts to follow the guidance released by the Ambulance Service Association.
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Title: Dirty ambulances MRSA 'risk'
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 4879
Date Added: 26th Nov 2007