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NHS Trust achieves ISSA CIMS Accreditation
Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, part of Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust, has recently achieved accreditation to the Cleaning Industry Management Standard. David McGarrigan, associate director, estates & facilities, proudly says of the award:
"Over the past three years we have transformed the way we deliver cleaning services at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary, the achievement of CIMS accreditation now gives us a platform for delivering a sustainable quality environment for our patients."
As one of only two NHS Trusts to achieve the CIMS Standard, the Trust gained its accreditation with honours. The certificate was presented by Karel-Jan Boel, ISSA director programme development for Europe, Middle East and Africa. Karel-Jan, travelling from his base in Belgium, praised and thanked all the staff at HRI for their hard work and commitment to achieving the standard and emphasised the important part cleaning services and staff play in the healthcare sector.
The award was received by Brendan Brown, executive director of nursing and deputy chief executive for the Trust. He also thanked and praised all the cleaning services team for their efforts and hard work in delivering service in challenging times for the NHS. The Trust also thanked Lynn Webster of LWC Consultancy as the ICE consultant for her support in developing the required systems and process in accordance with the CIMS standard.
CIMS is an evidence based management standard that focuses on the characteristics required to deliver a successful cleaning programme and supports service providers in developing a customer centred delivery model. It underpins all aspect of the cleaning programme including management, operations, systems and performance management.
While CIMS is a cleaning industry based standard, it can clearly be applied to the healthcare environment. Achievement of the standard demonstrates the ability and commitment of the Trust to deliver consistent quality services in the hospital environment that meets the needs and expectations of patients and clinical colleagues.
The standard focuses on six areas of best practice:
1. Quality systems
2. Service delivery
3. Human resources
4. Health, safety and environmental stewardship
5. Management commitment
6. Green building
The pathway to CIMS accreditation began in 2014, when the estates & facilities division undertook a major business redesign programme that resulted in a revised management and supervisory structure within the cleaning service department. Working closely with the Trust's infection prevention & control team, the department embarked on a cleaning redesign programme that focused on compliance with the National Clean Specifications and the implementation of 'PAS 5748 2014 - Specification for the Planning, Application, Measurement and Review of Cleanliness Services in Hospitals'.
Each functional area was measured and risk assessed in accordance with PAS 5748, from which appropriate cleaning frequencies and method statements were developed including cleaning times and workforce modelling.
The next phase of the redesign was to establish a robust and effective training programme. The Trust is committed to staff development and understands that to achieve high standards of service, staff need to have the appropriate training and development opportunities.
The department reviewed a number of options for staff training and decided to proceed through an externally accredited process with the British Institute of Cleaning Science professional cleaning qualifications. This followed further success in becoming an Accredited Training Organisation. Its 'Centre of Excellence' is now approved by BICSc for the training and assessment of all staff in the cleaning team. This was achieved in October 2015 which gave the Trust the ability to support its cleaning operatives by giving them the skills needed to deliver a high-quality service and to be recognised as a key part in delivering effective healthcare services to patients.
The Trust also implemented an independent service performance function that monitors cleaning performance standards against required outcomes to maintain a consistent level of service.
The Trust considered a number of options in terms of a management framework e.g. ISO 9002 but wanted a system that was specific to the cleaning industry. This is where CIMS became the chosen provider with its stringent external assessment by an independent auditor.
Whilst CIMS does not provide a guaranteed high level of service quality, it does offer a systematic, simple and effective management framework specifically developed to support cleaning organisations. It is an international standard developing across the UK and Europe from a major starting point across the US where all Government providers must be certified.
Where CIMS has been wildly used in the private sector it is equally compatible within the hospital environment. There is only one other healthcare organisation achieving accreditation - not only in the UK but across Europe.
The Trust recognises the importance that cleaning services and cleaning operatives play in providing high quality healthcare services to patients. It also recognises and values its staff for their efforts in a particularly demanding time for the NHS. Accreditation to CIMS is recognition of the hard work and dedication of its cleaning operatives.
The Trust sees the accreditation to CIMS as the starting point to delivering and sustaining first class cleaning standards across the organisation. Whilst there is still much work to do to fully embed the CIMS principals and deliver the required training and development of staff, over the last two years, standards have consistently improved. However, the Trust says it is not complacent and is committed to sustaining and improving quality in all its non-clinical and clinical service provisions.
28th September 2017