Hospital cleanliness is measured annually as part of the patient environment action team (PEAT) assessment. The first inspections in 2000 found around one-third of trusts to have poor or unacceptable standards. Since then there has been a steady improvement and in 2004-05, fewer than 5 per cent. were classified as poor or unacceptable. The latest PEAT inspections have recently been completed, and the results will be published in due course.
The Department has a comprehensive and multi-faceted programme of work on cleaner hospitals covering a wide range of issues, including:
setting standards that are monitored by the Healthcare Commission;
involving ward sisters and charge nurses;
raising awareness; and
research into alternative cleaning and monitoring technologies.