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Nurses forced to clean wards after private company fails to improve


Nurses at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust are having to clean wards after cleaners from a private company in order to maintain standards, the trust board has said.

At a meeting of the board last Thursday, the trust said Carillion, which won a £200m, five year estates and facility contract in 2014, had not made sufficient improvements.

”Our nursing teams are supplementing Carillion’s cleaning to maintain standards”

Trust spokeswoman

The trust warned Carillion in July that it faces having the contract terminated if it does not turn the service around.

After the board meeting a trust spokeswoman said: “Nottingham University Hospitals Trust remains deeply concerned about the cleanliness of our hospitals.

“Following escalation of our concerns to Carillion we have instigated vigorous, additional interventions to focus Carillion on improving cleanliness to the required standards as quickly as possible,” she said.

“Recent inspections (internal and external), and the concerns we continue to hear from our patients and staff, demonstrate insufficient progress to date,” she said. “Our nursing teams are supplementing Carillion’s cleaning to maintain standards, but this diverts our nurses from patient care.”

She added that the trust had demanded a plan from the company on how it would improve and the board would discuss the results of new cleanliness audits at its October board meeting.

Trade unions and Nottingham Healthwatch complained after a rat was spotted in a ward kitchen, while photos showed dirty ward areas following a supposed “deep clean” and overflowing bins outside the hospital. The trust has cited a shortage of 70 cleaning staff as a cause of the problems.

Carillion previously told Nursing Times’ sister title Health Service Journal it had responded to the feedback and recruited extra staff across its cleaning and portering service. It said its improvement programme had already solved equipment and linen shortages.

The company said it was confident it would address outstanding issues.


Readers' comments (9)

  • michael stone

    I assume that Carillion will be receiving less in payment than had previously been anticipated [on the basis of the cleaning being adequate] because of this poor performance to date ?

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  • Privatisation at its best, prepare for more of the same.

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  • Ridiculous...nurses haven't got time to deliver the standards of care they would like to as it is....

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  • Jeremy will not stop until the whole NHS has been privatised.

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  • Nurses taking on the cleaning will not address the problem. Address the route cause. Why is it always down to the nursing staff when others fall short of doing their job. Is there any wonder there is a recruitment crisis.

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  • No excuse for Carillon, but looking forward, why is so much hospital equipment and ward furniture lacking - not designed for easy and thorough cleaning?
    We are designing ward furniture (e.g. Privacy Screens) which from the ground up, starts from the premise that it must be easy to clean properly. No bug traps, no seams, joints, holes etc. which cannot be thoroughly accessed for cleaning.
    Ambrose Kingston, Nojerm Ltd. Bourne, Lincs.

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  • No No no. Nurses must not do this. It is not your role. You are undermining the professionalism of all of us nurses. Yes, complain, take photos, call the media, call your MP, make a lot of noise but please don't do the cleaning. Nurses can not be forced to clean....

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  • are there any jobs that nurses wont be doing?

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  • This is my trust and I can confirm we have to dedicate at least an hour or two minimum each shift to cleaning, some days we have had no sheets or towels, we have to do 'big cleans' after norovirus ourselves putting our patients at risk. It is beyond ridiculous and the government want to try and fool the public that privatisation is the only option for improvement, it's only going to get a lot worse the way things are going..

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