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Health-care Associated Infections

Volume 470: debated on Thursday 17 January 2008

The Secretary of State for Health (Alan Johnson): “Clean, Safe Care: Reducing Infections and Saving Lives”, published on 9 January, set out a comprehensive strategy to tackle health-care associated infections and improve cleanliness in the NHS. This included a full range of measures from ensuring good hand hygiene, to prudent antibiotic prescribing and more specialist staff such as infection control nurses. Deep cleaning is an important part of this range of measures to improve cleanliness and tackle infections.

Further to the written ministerial statement given on 22 November 2007, Official Report, column 145 WS, that detailed the £57.5 million of funding for a comprehensive programme of deep cleaning every trust in England, Strategic Health Authorities (SHAs) have today published further information on the implementation of the deep clean of the NHS. Information provided by the SHAs shows that, as of today, out of 328 trusts, 263 trusts have started their deep clean and that the remaining 65 trusts all have agreed plans in place for local deep cleans which will take place over the coming weeks, with the aim of completion by 31 March 2008. Further information is available from SHAs.

The details and timetable of each trust’s deep clean plan will vary according to local need and the configuration of local services. For example, a recently built hospital may not require as intensive a programme of deep cleaning as an older hospital and trusts will have organised their programmes in order to minimise disruption to services and inconvenience to patients.

I will provide confirmation to the House once the £57.5 million programme of deep cleaning has been completed. Following completion of the deep clean of the NHS, the Department will work with SHAs to draw up detailed examples of where a deep clean has had a demonstrable effect in improving patient care and will disseminate these across the NHS.