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Trusts “have not begun deep clean”

Sixty-five hospital trusts in England have not yet started their “deep cleaning” drive to tackle pathogens, the Health Secretary has revealed.

Alan Johnson told MPs 263 out of 328 trusts have started the procedure, which is due to be finished by the end of March.

In a written statement, he said: “The remaining 65 trusts all have agreed plans in place for local deep cleans which will take place over the coming weeks, with the aim of completion by March 31.”

He added that each cleaning plan will vary “according to local need and the configuration of local services”.

“A recently built hospital may not require as intensive a programme of deep cleaning as an older hospital, and trusts will have organised their programmes in order to minimise disruption to services and inconvenience to patients,” he said.

The £57.5m programme aims to improve cleanliness in every hospital in an effort to tackle infections such as methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and Clostridium difficile.

The ward-by-ward process was unveiled by Prime Minister Gordon Brown in September, but critics claim it is nothing more than a gimmick.

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