UNISONScotland www
This is our archive website that is no longer being updated.
For the new website please go to
Click here
Home News About us Join Us Contacts Help Resources Learning Links UNISON UK




Sponsorship Comms Index Communications Forum Campaigns News Scotland inUNISON Press Releases


Communications Index | Press releases | Scotland inUNISON | Campaigns


31 January 2003

Hospitals cleaned by private contractors twice as dirty, UNISON.

Scotland's biggest health union representing thousands of NHS cleaning, supervisory and management staff welcomes the publication today of Audit Scotland's report into Hospital Cleaning.

The report confirms UNISON's long held concerns about hospital cleanliness and its impact on rates of Hospital Acquired Infections.

Simon Macfarlane, UNISON Lead Officer for Ancillary Members today said: "The report shows that 38% of hospitals and wards cleaned by private contractors were in the category of greatest concern as opposed to only 14% of those hospitals and wards cleaned by directly employed NHS staff. It is no surprise to us that a so-called flagship new PFI hospital like Hairmyres is among the dirtiest. Like the cuts in bed numbers, cleaning standards are reduced to ensure profits for the private contractors. UNISON Scotland therefor demands that Trusts be immediately given powers to monitor cleaning performance in PFI hospitals and the right to intervene if required.

"The report also confirms that ward staff often have no control over monitoring cleaning, or even the knowledge of what level of cleaning should be carried out in the ward. Again the report also shows that the quality of cleaning is affected by staff shortages and high staff turnover.

"Hospital cleanliness must become as much of an issue for the Scottish NHS as waiting times. Cleaner hospitals are essential in the battle against the shocking levels of Hospital Acquired Infections within the Scottish NHS.

"The report clearly demonstrates the need for the Scottish Health Service to adopt our three point action plan to tackle Hospital Acquired Infection, which states firstly, the Scottish Executive should establish agreed minimum staffing levels for domestics for every ward and department in the NHS. Secondly, Ward Sisters and Charge Nurses should have day to day control over the cleaning in their ward. And lastly all private contractors should be removed from the Scottish Health Service.

"Only by adopting this action plan will the NHS be able to ensure that the next Audit Scotland report demonstrates significant improvement in the cleanliness of the NHS hospitals and facilities we all use."

For Further Information Please Contact: Simon Macfarlane on: 0870-7777-006 (w)