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Hospital Healthcare Europe

Bring cleaning back to NHS – nurses

30 April, 2008  

Britain’s nurses want ward cleaning taken out of private companies’ hands and brought back under the NHS wing.

Nurses at the Royal College of Nursing (RCN) conference in Bournemouth voted overwhelmingly in favour of bringing cleaning back in-house, saying they believe in-house firms do a better job.

About 40% of NHS cleaning services are currently outsourced to private companies.

May McCreaddie, from Glasgow, proposed a motion calling on the RCN Council to lobby the Government to halt contract cleaning.

She told the conference: “There has been an increase in hospital infections and a decline in cleanliness. It’s quite simple.

“We know what works, we have been there, we have had them. They are called ward domestics, they are an integral part of the team.”

The motion, which was overwhelmingly passed by 98.88% (353 votes) to 1.12% (four votes), demands the RCN Council lobby the Government to end contract cleaning in the NHS.

Intensive care nurse Lisa Wood told delegates cleaners needed to have “pride” in their jobs. She said it was impossible to get a cleaner at night and nurses were cleaning the floors.

Andrew Parker added: “There’s also the fact of loyalty when you have your own people in.”

Copyright © PA Business 2008

Royal College of Nursing