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National Deep Clean Programme

Volume 474: debated on Monday 21 April 2008

Further to the written ministerial statements given on 21 November 2007, Official Report, column 134WS and 17 January 2008, Official Report, column 38WS strategic health authorities (SHAs) have confirmed that 97 per cent. of trusts have now completed a deep clean as part of the comprehensive national programme of deep cleaning.

Three hundred and twenty eight trusts agreed plans with SHAs as part of this national deep cleaning programme. As well as all 170 acute trusts, this included many primary care trusts with inpatient facilities, mental health trusts, learning disability trusts and ambulance trusts. All 328 trusts had started their deep clean programmes and 308 trusts, (94 per cent.) had completed their deep clean by the end of 31 March.

Since 31 March 2008, a further 11 trusts have now completed their deep clean programmes, bringing the total to 319 trusts. Nine trusts are still undertaking their deep clean and all are due to complete by the end of May 2008. There are valid reasons for trusts to complete after 31 March 2008, such as significant refurbishments or reasons relating to patient safety.

Information provided by SHAs shows that they have all made available the funding they promised for the programme, as set out in the written ministerial statement on 21 November 2007. In addition, SHA North West increased its planned expenditure by £5.1 million, as primary care trusts in the north-west provided additional funding to improve local services. The final total funding therefore made available for this programme at a regional level was £62.6 million.

Clean hospitals are essential for high quality, comfortable patient care. High standards of cleanliness also encourage a focus on infection control and provide a platform for consistent hand cleaning and thorough cleaning of beds between patients. Deep cleaning is part of a comprehensive range of measures to improve cleanliness and tackle infections set out in the strategy “Clean, Safe Care: Reducing Infections and Saving Lives”.

The NHS will maintain the high standards of cleanliness that the current programme has provided. This will be monitored and performance managed at a local level. Deep cleaning will be included in patient environment action team inspection programme from next year. Specialist Healthcare Commission inspections began this month against the code of practice for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections so all acute trusts will be inspected every year on their clean environment. We will also publish best practice guidance on deep cleaning later on this year to help hospitals continue to achieve the best possible environment for patient care.

A list of the trusts which have undertaken or are undertaking a deep clean as part of this national programme has been placed in the Library and copies are available to hon. Members from the Vote Office.