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04.09.12

Cleaning standards ‘inadequate’, nurses suggest

Nurses are having to clean beds, wards and floors, new research suggests.

A survey of over 1,000 nurses and health assistants working on the NHS found that a third had cleaned toilets or mopped floors in the previous 12 months.

The study was published by Nursing Times, and also showed that over half of the nurses surveyed believed cleaning services for their wards were inadequate, with a fifth saying managers had cut back on cleaning.

Almost three quarters said they had not received any training for this cleaning.

Tracey Cooper, president of the Infection Prevention Society, said: “Cleaning has always been an integral part of what nurses do. The risk comes when there is a lack of clarity about process and who is responsible because then you get things that nobody cleans.”

A Department of Health spokesperson said: “Hospitals have a duty to provide a clean and safe environment for patients and they should do everything they can to ensure that nurses can spend as much time involved in patient care as possible.

“Cleaning staff should have the necessary skills and resources available to maintain a high quality environment for patients.”

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