Hospital cleaning staff should
be employed by the NHS if the country’s wards are to be cleaned up, claims
The challenge comes in response
to health secretary Alan Milburn’s naming and shaming of 10 hospitals with poor
standards of cleanliness this week.
Many of the hospitals
criticised by the minister use private cleaning contractors, according to
Unison’s secretary for health Paul Marks.
Yvonne Cleary, Unison national
officer, said, “Contracting has led to cuts in standards because work always
goes to the cheapest offer.
“We need to get back to the
basic recognition that cleaning staff are as part of the NHS as other hospital
The Department of Health this
week announced the re-introduction of the post of hospital matron, who will
have “the authority to keep the wards clean”.
The Government wants 2,000
matrons on wards throughout the NHS by 2004.