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Thursday 22nd August 2019

Nurses 'cleaning toilets'

4th September 2012

The results of a survey by Nursing Times has shown a third of nurses had cleaned toilets or mopped floors in the past year.


The survey of 1,000 health service nurses and health assistants found over 50% thought the cleaning provision for their wards was not adequate and 20% said hospital bosses had made cuts to the amount of cleaning done on wards.

Rose Gallagher, the Royal College of Nursing's adviser on infection prevention and control, told the Nursing Times: "This is not about saying nurses are too posh to wash. Cleaning in hospitals is not the same as cleaning your own home."

The survey found two-fifths of nurses had been responsible for cleaning a bed once an infectious patient had been discharged, while nearly 75% said they had received no specialist training on how to clean infected areas.

About 37% of nurses said their health trust would not make a bed out of bounds even if it had not been thoroughly cleaned.

Tracey Cooper, president of the Infection Prevention Society, said: "Nurses are the guardians of the standards of their wards."

"Cleaning has always been an integral part of what nurses do. The risk comes when there is a lack of clarity about process and who is responsible because then you get things that nobody cleans."

A Department of Health spokeswoman said: "Hospitals have a duty to provide a clean and safe environment for patients and they should do everything they can to ensure that nurses can spend as much time involved in patient care as possible."

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