Standards of cleanliness
We base our standards on recommendations from the Department of Health and organisations with expertise in this area. We monitor and maintain our cleaners' performance through a detailed specification of works, constant quality assurance and audit visits and regular meetings to examine performance reports and discuss ways to continually improve the service.
Lowering risk through cleaning
Each area of our hospitals is assessed and given a risk category (ranging from very high to low). We then schedule the frequency of cleaning to match the risk factor, to make sure we concentrate our efforts in areas most likely to pose a risk.
Minimum cleaning frequencies
Minimum cleaning frequencies are determined according to the risk category for each area. This means we set a minimum frequency for each task to be carried out within an area, as a guide, but these will be altered according to demand.
In addition to the routine daily cleaning we also have a rolling programme of deep cleans. This means that on at least one occasion each year every clinical area received an additional clean when there are no patients present. This allows an even more thorough clean of the environment, including all fixtures and fittings, to be conducted.
We actively invite the views of patients and members of the public and we aim to involve patients and gain feedback on our performance in several ways. These include:
- comment cards
- patient interviews and focus groups
- patient surveys
- via our patient advice and liaison (PALS) service.
Patient-led assessments of the care environment (PLACE)
Patients are also represented in the annual PLACE assessment. The assessments involve local people (known as patient assessors) going into hospitals as part of teams to assess how the environment supports the provision of clinical care, assessing such things as privacy and dignity, food, cleanliness and general building maintenance, and the extent to which the environment is able to support the care of disabled people, and those with dementia.
Good environments matter. Every patient should be cared for with compassion and dignity in a clean, safe environment. This assessment provides an opportunity for us to learn from patient feedback and act on it to ensure that the environment in which care is provided always meets the high standard we seek to offer to all our patients.
Monitoring our progress
Our cleaning company carries out regular quality assurance checks. Four times a year we take the scores from these checks, our own formal monitoring and detailed managerial audits ( where we carry out a more in-depth inspection of a specific area) to produce an overall cleanliness score by which we can judge our own performance.
Key facts on keeping our hospitals clean
Keeping two hospitals that are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year clean is an enormous task and uses considerable resources:
- we spend over £1,800,000 a year on keeping the hospitals clean
- in all 130 employees spend a total of 3,800 hours a week cleaning
- the total size of the cleaned areas is 61,590 square meters
- over 3,500 litres of soap are used for hand washing each year along with an incredible 29,881,500 hand towels.