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Hospitals: Cleaning Services

Volume 489: debated on Tuesday 17 March 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health pursuant to the answer of 3 March 2009, Official Report, column 1474W, on hospitals: cleaning services, what steps his Department has taken to evaluate the effectiveness of each of the steps to improve hospital cleanliness. (263445)

The Department has given a strong public commitment to hospital cleanliness and has set in place a comprehensive programme of work that has improved cleaning standards across the national health service. Evaluation of the effectiveness of all the measures set in place is independently available via the Healthcare Commission's annual health check, its annual in-patient survey and its programme of specialist inspections of acute trusts to assess their compliance with the duties set out in the “Health Act 2006 Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Healthcare Associated Infections” (‘hygiene code’). Cleaning standards are also measured via the annual Patient Environment Action Team (PEAT) inspection programme.

In addition, a number of other evaluations of the effectiveness of, or compliance with, particular measures are set out in the table.


Action taken

National deep clean programme

The Department published a compendium of good practice studies arising from the national deep clean programme, “From Deep Clean to Keep Clean learning from the deep clean programme” in October 2008, as a basis for shared learning across the NHS.

National Specifications for cleanliness in the NHS

The Department is currently working with National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) and key stakeholders to explore the scope for using these specifications to develop a national standard for cleanliness in the NHS. It is also seeking the views of those stakeholders to identify measures that could sharpen the focus of the existing national specifications.

Trusts' strategic and operational cleaning plans make provision for on-going deep clean activity

With the support of the NPSA, the PEAT protocol has been amended to include a specific question on plans for on-going deep cleaning.

‘Board to Ward’ guidance highlighting the commitment needed to ensure that all staff understand the role they play in preventing infections and providing a clean environment

“Going Further Faster II; Applying the learning to reduce HCAI and improve cleanliness” was published in June 2008 reflecting the accumulated learning, evidence and good practice on the key actions that NHS trusts can take towards the goal of eradicating avoidable healthcare associated infections and delivering a clean NHS.

“Clean Safe Care Reducing Infections and saving lives”—comprehensive strategy drawing together key initiatives to tackle healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) and cleanliness

The Department has commissioned an evaluation of the effectiveness of the Healthcare Associated Infection and Cleanliness Improvement programme (one strand of the ‘Clean, safe care’, strategy) with a specific focus on the work streams focused on reductions in the incidence of MRSA.