The cleanliness of the hospital environment is important for infection control and patient well-being.
The domestic services department provides daily and periodic (special) cleaning services to all parts of the hospital. This includes wards, laboratories, operating theatres, public areas and outpatient clinics.
In addition, the department also completes specialist cleaning tasks such as pressure mattress washing, laundering of patient slings and hoists, wall washing and infection outbreak cleans.
All cleaning is undertaken in accordance with the national Standards of Cleanliness in the NHS, which defines methods and frequency of cleaning for specified areas. Cleaning audits are carried out at regular intervals using a computerised monitoring system.
All domestic staff receive a range of training to ensure cleaning procedures are carried out competently. This includes cleaning skills, health and safety, safe handling of cleaning products, infection control and customer care skills. Some staff are working towards NVQ qualifications.
The current cost of providing the cleaning service to a ward is approximately £2.80 per patient per day. We regularly survey patients for their views on the domestic service. Results are posted on the notice boards located by the entrance to each ward.
The Trust’s in-house domestic services department provides the hospital with a range of cleaning services, and aims to achieve the following standards:
- Cleaning procedures in line with the NHS National Standards of Cleanliness
- Training and developing staff to deliver an appropriate standard of service
- Ensuring staff are properly trained to work safely
- Continuously developing staff to meet the needs of the hospital
- Promptly dealing with any complaints and putting things right quickly
- Asking patients and colleagues their views on cleaning standards and publishing the results
- Supporting the work of clinical and support teams to collectively provide an appropriate and timely service
- Ensuring domestic services staff are correctly dressed with a clean uniform and visible name badge
- Ensuring the machinery and cleaning materials used have all been risk assessed
The domestic services department has won several awards for high standards of cleaning. This recently included a member of staff winning the cleaning industry’s Golden Service Award in the Best Cleaner category.
High standards of cleanliness, customer care and appropriate staff organisation resulted in a high score from this year’s PEAT (Patient Environment Action Team) assessment. Bedford Hospital is acknowledged as an exemplar site by the Department of Health for PEAT standards.