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Hospitals: Cleaning Services

Volume 475: debated on Thursday 8 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) when he expects the deep clean of hospitals in England to take place; (203396)

(2) what proportion of hospitals in England were (a) deep cleaned throughout, (b) deep cleaned on targeted wards only and (c) not deep cleaned as part of his Department's recent deep cleaning programme.

As set out in the written ministerial statement given by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State on 21 April 2008, Official Report, column 93-94WS, 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”. Copies of the strategy are available in the Library.

The national health service 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, inspecting against the “Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections”. Copies of this publication are available in the Library. All acute trusts will be inspected annually on the cleanliness of their environment. We will also publish best practice guidance on deep cleaning later this year to help hospitals continue to achieve the best possible environment for patient care.

Information on trusts which had completed the deep cleans as part of the national programme is detailed in the written ministerial statement of 21 April 2008. Details of each trust's cleaning plan are not held centrally as this is a matter for local discretion. Each strategic health authority was responsible for ensuring that appropriate deep cleaning programmes (that complemented existing cleaning regimes) were agreed in their areas and also that the plans were funded appropriately by commissioners.