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In-house Cleaning Services Required at Hairmyres Hospital
Outside cleaning teams were called in after unannounced inspections by the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI), which uncovered problems in six wards.
Inspectors also found that the general ward environment was dirty, patient equipment was dirty, trolleys in the Accident and Emergency Department were ‘contaminated’ and that there were problems with patient toilets.
Cleaning services at Hairmyres Hospital, which was built under the controversial Private Finance Initiative (PFI), are run by private contractors ISS.
And Unison claim, despite having earned hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers’ money from the contract, the private contract cleaner was forced in October to parachute in two teams of cleaners from Coventry in England to tackle the problems.
The union’s organiser, Robert Rae, said that in 2007 ISS was given a 19 per cent increase in its fee for a seven-year extension of its involvement at Hairmyres, without having to enter any competition for the work.
He also claimed, since then, NHS Scotland has subsidised its wage bill to bring its workers out of poverty pay.
Mr Rae added: “Hairmyres cost £65million to build. Wishaw cost £100 million. NHS Lanarkshire will pay £1,110,000 over 30 years for the use of 1100 hospital beds.
“In 2014 the Board needs to make decisions about the future of portering, cleaning and catering services at these hospitals. They should be brought in-house. Virtually every other health board in Scotland manages to run these services very well with in-house workers living and working in Scotland.”
An NHS Lanarkshire spokesperson said: “All of the Lanarkshire hospitals have been assessed as meeting the NHS Scotland National Cleaning Compliance Report which is published quarterly by Health Facilities Scotland.
“Hairmyres Hospital has recently undergone two unannounced Healthcare Environment Inspectorate (HEI) visits.
“Although we have yet to receive the official reports from Health Improvement Scotland (HIS), we were disappointed that the first visit identified a limited number of areas within the hospital that required attention.
“In order to facilitate an immediate response to these findings, ISS temporarily introduced fully-trained experienced healthcare cleaners from a number of ISS contracts.
“As a result of the remedial actions by ISS and NHS Lanarkshire the inspectors reported significant improvements on their second visit.
“We have revised the process on Standard Infection Control Precautions and Healthcare Associated Infection Environmental monitoring throughout Lanarkshire.”