All hospitals in England should have completed their deep cleans by the end of March, according to the deadline set by health secretary Alan Johnson.
Mr Johnson also revealed details of planned regional funding for the initiative by strategic health authorities.
He said trusts must submit detailed deep clean plans, including costs, to PCTs and SHAs. Foundation Trusts will also be invited to agree plans and funding for additional deep cleaning with local commissioners.
‘The Strategic Health Authorities have now allocated funding so that hospitals can get on with the deep clean programme this winter with the aim of completing all deep cleans by the end of March 2008,’ Mr Johnson told the Commons.
SHAs have allocated a total of £57.5m to the programme. There is, however, a large discrepancy in individual funding amounts, with the West Midlands allocating the highest with £9.9m and North East the lowest at £3m.
Karen Jennings, Unison head of health, said cleaners should be trained in ‘clever cleaning’ that targeted danger areas including 'near touch' sites around a patient's bed, buzzer, locker and curtains.