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Having spent much of the past fortnight both day and night, 'camped out' at a South West London hospital with a sick relative, I was in the perfect position to observe at close quarters the cleaning staff in action, what they used, how they worked, the standard of cleaning and more importantly, the jobs they had to tackle.
I also watched the nurses who had to be responsible for emergency cleaning when the cleaners weren't available, who didn't appear to have been trained in how to clean (as if they don't have enough to do already...)!
It frightens me to know that further cuts are to be made to NHS budgets, for clearly there aren't enough cleaners even now to do the work required, the equipment is outdated and inefficient and my goodness the people doing the work aren't paid nearly enough to do it.
And something I've noticed in all the hospitals I visit is that while the floors are always very shiny, the higher level cleaning and washing down of walls seems to be a low priority - and it shows. I know that with budget constraints, shortcuts have to be made, and I wonder whether greater effort is put into polishing the floors because a vast expanse of shiny floor creates the impression that the building is clean, when in reality it isn't.
I'd love to know your thoughts on this please.
4th October 2012