Why our skillset is suited to healthcare cleaning

The past two years has put hygiene in the spotlight. Especially in healthcare and medical settings, cleaning has been of paramount importance. Yet even beyond the pandemic, the highest standards of cleaning are essential in the sector to protect clinically vulnerable people. Healthcare-acquired infections remain a real problem throughout the world, made worse by the rise of increasing numbers of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This makes it ever more important to implement rigorous infection control in healthcare settings. In our latest blog, we look at the standards for healthcare cleaning in the UK, and how Fidelis helps healthcare providers with compliance.

Setting standards for healthcare cleaning in the UK

Cleanliness and hygiene are critical to the safe operation of the healthcare system. But they clearly present a massive challenge to deliver across modern healthcare settings. That’s why the Health Act 2006 code of practice, together with the earlier Action Plan for Cleaner Hospitals, places clear responsibility on the care provider to clean properly. The NHS subsequently published a framework for setting and measuring performance outcomes for cleaning hospitals. This set out the importance to think of cleaning both strategically and operationally, setting a cleaning plan which is adequately resourced and successfully executed.

As part of its broader framework, the NHS published new national standards of healthcare cleanliness in April 2021 [> https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/B0271-national-standards-of-healthcare-cleanliness-2021.pdf]. One focus is on the need for a collaborative approach, together with clear lines of responsibility. The standards also produce a renewed commitment to measure and benchmark performance in a uniform way. Compliance with standards and auditing processes are written into contracts with cleaning service providers to help achieve that consistency. And the Care Quality Commission (CQC) looks at cleanliness and hygiene when considering its ratings of healthcare providers.

A specialist job requires a specialist cleaning company

At every level in the NHS, there’s a whole host of buildings which need to be kept clean. Out in the community, there are more than 6,800 GP surgeries across the UK, together with a host of other primary community healthcare facilities. There are hundreds of bigger facilities. Some 220 acute NHS trusts run hospitals, treatment centres and specialist care at around 1,600 sites in the UK. And of course, there are plenty of private-sector healthcare providers too. In each of these buildings, government standards demand strict hygiene protocols to protect patients and staff alike.

All these healthcare facilities can be complex environments to keep clean. Not only is it important to clean everywhere, but it’s also vital to pay special attention to certain key areas. The various environments within hospitals, as well as the equipment within each setting, have different safe cleaning frequencies. For instance, an operating theatre floor must clearly be cleaned much more frequently than the walls in a waiting room. Healthcare providers will determine cleaning frequencies, and audits of cleanliness, according to functional risk categories. Individual NHS Trusts have a good deal of leeway on determining these frequencies, to allow them the operational flexibility they need in their facilities.

How Fidelis makes the difference in healthcare cleaning

By contracting out cleaning to a specialist cleaning company such as Fidelis, NHS and private healthcare providers can ensure and demonstrate that they meet standards. Our specialist medical cleaning operatives work with providers to ensure that they meet CQC requirements to create a clean and safe environment. We work to help prevent the spread of infection, and we ensure that all necessary cleaning procedures are strictly adhered to. What’s more, we can help to ensure compliance with CQC requirements by providing free advice to hospitals and other healthcare settings.

Working in hospitals, doctors’ surgeries, and dental practices, we have extensive knowledge and understanding of hygiene in healthcare. We implement a thorough training and development programme with advanced security checks, including DBS checks, for all our operatives working within this sector. This requires operatives to sign confidentiality agreements and to be trained accordingly regarding sensitive data. We carefully select the operatives who are trained to meet the requirements of all healthcare sites. Our comprehensive training and development programme focuses on the delivery of a world-class service, including awareness of the National Colour Coding system and training for infection control. Quality, personable customer engagement is essential, both with healthcare teams as well as patients– and it’s what we’ve built our reputation upon.

To find out more about Fidelis Group and our specialist healthcare cleaning services, contact one of the team today.

  • Telephone: 0845 431 0382  |  0121 289 3258
  • Email: info@fidelisgroup.co.uk

Post by Jon Shaw

Jon is Managing Director at Fidelis Contract Services Ltd, a business dedicated to performance and professionalism in contract cleaning. Having been part of Fidelis for four years, and MD since December 2021, Jon knows the value of the company’s staff in building trust for successful long-term partnerships with clients in a range of sectors.

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