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National awards for hospital cleaners announced

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Prime minister Gordon Brown has launched a new set of awards to recognise the work of hospital cleaners.

Launching the Unison Nye Bevan NHS 60th Anniversary Awards, Mr Brown praised the work of the entire the NHS team. He was speaking this week at the union’s political conference in Gateshead.

Unison has set up five new awards, aimed at promoting cleaner hospital environments and eliminating infections acquired during healthcare, such as the healthcare-associated infections MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

Dave Prentis, General Secretary of Unison, said the UNISON awards ‘are aimed at boosting morale and promoting and rewarding higher standards of excellence. The five separate categories underline the point that achieving those standards is not the sole responsibility of the cleaning staff – you need a whole team approach’.

The inaugural winners of the new awards will be announced in November at Unison’s Cleaners’ Conference.

The union also wants to improve cleanliness by setting minimum staffing levels for cleaning hospitals, including round-the-clock cleaning – employing two cleaners per shift for every 30 patients – in two time-frames from 8am to 9pm and for overnight cover.

Cleaner Hospital Committees – made up of cleaners, domestic supervisors, nurses and managers – should also be set up in hospitals, the union said.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • When cleaners were employed by the health authourity and had their own wards , they took a pride in their ward. Since it has been farmed out to agencies their moral is not the same their have a lot more work to do in a smaller time frame so they are having to cut corners to complete the work and are not getting job satisfaction. On top of this they are being paid a lot less.

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