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Published on 2 October 2007

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UK hospital deep-cleaning plan rejected in Scotland


The NHS in Scotland will not follow the UK Government’s deep-cleaning initiative in tackling hospital-acquired infections, Scotland’s First Minister has announced.

Alex Salmond, whose Scottish National Party has a majority in the devolved Scottish government within the UK, said Scottish NHS boards have a number of methods available to fight pathogens, including ordering thorough cleansing programmes.

“But we are firmly of the view that we can only achieve long-term success by tackling healthcare-associated infections by the implementation of a range of measures,” he said.

He said the Scottish Government had backed programmes such as strict prescribing practice and a national hand hygiene drive to tackle to problem.

However, Margaret Curran, health spokeswoman for the Labour Party in Scotland – Labour is the ruling party in the UK as a whole – quoted Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s pledge to give extra money to individual hospitals to pay for the cleaning drive.

And she added: “Can I ask the First Minister directly, will there be new funds direct to every hospital in Scotland – yes or no?”

Mr Salmond replied: “Can I point out that our purpose is not just to have the availability to health boards of deep-cleaning hospitals when necessary, but to keep the hospitals clean?

“And if there was a single answer to this enormously serious problem I think the Labour Party might have stumbled across in the last 10 years in the UK or the last eight years in Scotland.”

Copyright © PA Business 2007

Scottish Government

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