Patients believe cleanliness levels in the UK’s NHS hospitals are not improving, according to the biggest study of its kind by the British health watchdog.
The Healthcare Commission survey of about 75,000 adult patients at 165 health trusts also found wide variations in patients’ experience of cleanliness between trusts in England.
The patient survey found that the overall number of patients reporting their hospital was “very clean” fell from 56% in 2002 to 53% in 2007 and has not improved since last year.
In the best performing trusts, about 80% of those asked said their room or ward was “very clean”.
Fewer than half of patients overall reported lavatories and bathrooms were very clean. In the best trusts this figure was as high as 81% but in the worst was as low as 22%.
The survey also found that fewer patients than last year believed doctors and nurses always washed their hands between patients. At the worst performing trust, a quarter of those asked said they thought doctors did not wash their hands after examinations.
The survey is the fifth carried out since 2002. It covers 76,000 adult patients at 165 acute and specialist NHS trusts in England.
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