£4m cost to clean hospitals

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THE cost of wiping out deadly bugs from Wigan hospitals last year was more than £4m.

Deep cleaning and 24-hour services were introduced across local facilities in a bid to beat infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile .

In 2010/11, Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust spent £3,334,001 on cleaning services, whilst Ashton, Leigh and Wigan Primary Care Trust accumulated £816,156 in bills - totalling £4,150,157.

This includes deep clean, labour and material costs for all directly employed and contract staff covers contract support costs, equipment and uniform costs.

The cost has fluctuated from £3,655,360 in 2008/09 to £4,082,702 in 2009/10 to £3,334,001 last year.

Cleanliness became the subject of contention nationally around four years ago when the Department of Health introduced deep cleaning in a bid to prevent cases of Clostridium difficile.

Wigan’s hospitals adhered to the moves, as well as introducing a new uniform policy and challenging people who were not washing their hands.

Over the last few weeks, Wigan Infirmary underwent a stringent cleaning policy following an outbreak of the Norovirus.

Wards were deep cleaned, which consists of a mixture of cleaning techniques, which include steam cleaning and a hypochlorite detergent to clean every environmental surface and equipment.

A spokesman for WWL NHS Foundation Trust said: “WWL has reviewed its cleaning procedures and where cleaning takes place in office accommodation we have reduced this to transfer the staffing element into our clinical areas improving the National Cleaning Standards scoring to exceed 95 per cent for our wards.

“Cleaning products have been sourced through alternative suppliers at cost- effective rates ensuring best value for money.

“And we are currently looking to enter into alliances with external organisations to reduce this further.”