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Hospital pharmacists in the UK will be encouraged by a call for every hospital to have a “cleaning inspector” to tackle hospital-acquired infections.
The British Cleaning Council (BCC) is also demanding standardisation of training to prevent the spread of MRSA and Clostridium difficile.
The BCC represents 19 training and trade bodies covering hundreds of hospital cleaners, many of whom work on contracts for the NHS.
It claims there is widespread confusion over training, budgets and who should take responsibility for cleaning.
Data from the UK’s Health Protection Agency last month showed that hospital MRSA cases fell by 10% in the first three months of 2007 compared with a year ago, but rates for C difficile rose by 2%.
BCC chairman Steve Wright said budget cuts across the NHS have had a “huge impact” on the standard of cleanliness, but said better training and equipment can help things improve.
He added: “Sadly, for too long now many UK hospitals have been failing to hit the mark in hygiene terms.
“Cleanliness is critical in all healthcare environments and many seem to be lacking the ability to rectify failures.”
He said the BCC would like to see a cleaning inspector in every hospital, and it believed hospital cleaners should be trained by experts in the classroom and on the job.
“Unless hospitals managers avail themselves of cleaning industry know-how, the hospital cleaning crisis will continue,” he said.
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British Cleaning Council: www.britishcleaningcouncil.org