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“There is no getting away from the fact that this year has been extremely challenging for the cleaning and FM industry.
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It’s long been accepted that the regular and expert cleaning of our hospitals and the equipment in them, is an essential part of the public health strategy for helping prevent Healthcare Acquired Infections - and over the past year, for trying to keep Coronavirus under control too. Yet new figures published by NHS Digital show that the full-time equivalent of almost 1,000 NHS cleaners, (both directly employed and outsourced) have been cut in England since 2010/11. And incredibly, the amount spent by NHS Trusts on cleaning services fell by £38 million in real terms – a decline of 3.4%. GMB, the union for NHS workers, has called for urgent investment to reverse these cuts to cleaning services – and it hasn’t come a moment too soon.
“The NHS couldn’t function without its cleaning staff,” says the GMB. “They have been saving lives, often at real personal risk, since day one of the pandemic. Our members tell us they are overworked, underpaid and denied access to the right PPE. Some are put under pressure to complete jobs without enough time or the right equipment. These new figures confirm that a scandalous £38 million has been taken out of NHS cleaning budgets in real terms, while hundreds of NHS cleaners have lost their jobs. These cuts weakened the NHS and meant that services were vulnerable when the pandemic hit. As we enter a third lockdown, it is more important than ever that NHS cleaners receive the resources, pay and decent employment standards they deserve.”
It’s not just about poor pay for the work and conditions involved though, is it? Working in a hospital apparently increases your risk of infection by a factor of three. But this risk isn’t evenly spread. Tests carried out in many hospitals over Summer showed that it was not the ICU consultants or infectious ‘red zone’ clinical staff who had the highest infection rates, but red zone cleaners and porters. Their risk of infection was double that of their clinical colleagues and I wonder whether this may be partly down to the cleaners having to work with inadequate PPE.
It’s hard enough going home exhausted at the end of your shift, but to also be worrying that you could be taking home Covid-19, must be incredibly worrying. I do hope Government realises that greater investment must quickly be made in NHS cleaning services, as I’d hate to think what would happen if the cleaners and porters - knowing that they have GMB backing, decided to persuade a reluctant Government to by downing tools.
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This Week's News
The organisers of The Cleaning Show, due to take place in London's ExCel this March, tell us that they have secured new dates for later in the year. The event is now scheduled for 8th - 10th June 2021.
A decision wholly supported by the British Cleaning Council, it is obviously everyone's hope that by then, the worst of Covid-19 will be far behind us and that organised business events can take place safely and confidently.
Shell has teamed up with Kärcher to offer customers automated car washing using the latest technology in a selection of Shell service stations. The collaboration has been facilitated by TSG Wash, which provide sales, service and installation for Kärcher's car wash solutions in the UK and 29 other countries.
"This is an exciting collaboration and the first time both global brands have been brought together to deliver automated car washing,ä says Frank McLaughlan, director for TSG Wash UK
The Association of Healthcare Cleaning Professionals, (formerly the Association of Domestic Management) celebrated its 45th anniversary in 2020 and with it, the satisfaction that it has helped develop standards and protocols used by the NHS and the UK Department of health, aimed at delivering cleaner, safer healthcare environments.
From August 1975, managers of cleaning and allied services within the public sector - and especially within the National Health Service, had their networking needs met by the Association of Domestic Management. The ADM grew successfully over the years to become the mouthpiece and representative body for healthcare cleaning managers throughout the UK.
Afflink has introduced Rest Assured, a bundle of best-in-class products, specifically designed to deliver the highest-quality disinfecting and extended-protection solutions now available, all designed to protect human health at home, in school, and at work.
Featured in this all-in-one bundle are the following:
- A hospital-grade, EPA N-List disinfectant, engineered to kill the pathogens that cause coronavirus as well as other pathogens on surfaces in minutes.
Data centres are a fast-growing market set to rise by up to 15% and presenting special cleaning needs. Figures released by M Capital Group show the global data centre industry achieving strong growth over the next five years, reaching a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10% to 15%.
Based in Farnham, Surrey, Technivo is a specialist in cleaning these anonymous-looking and often secretive buildings and recently sourced four Prochem dual-speed rotary machines with suction kits and filter bags especially for the sector.
UMF Corporation has announced that testing from award-winning contract research organisation Integrated Pharma Services confirms that UMF's Micrillon sheath and core fibre demonstrates significant antiviral properties against Human Coronavirus, which causes Covid-19, and Human Influenza A H1N1 virus in just minutes.
The Micrillon sheath and core fibre, spun into a yarn and knitted into a material, also demonstrates significant antibacterial efficacy (100% kill) against Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and E. coli 0157:H7.
Writing in a new report for facilities services provider phs Group, Cambridge University Professor Paul Linden highlights the growing evidence for the airborne transmission of coronavirus and that tackling indoor air quality must be at the forefront of creating Covid-safe environments.
The all-new Bin Wash Flite is an innovative self-contained bin cleaning system that uses two powerful, automated rotating wash heads to clean the insides of wheelie bins.
Spotta Smart Pest Systems has capped a strong first year of commercial operations with accelerated product development and market reach for 2021. To support its growth into new territories and pests, the company has doubled its headcount and secured partnerships to further extend its commercial reach.
Having secured $1.18 million in seed funding in July 2020, Spotta's ambition to revolutionise the pest control market - providing monitoring technology to help prevent wide-reaching infestations - has continued to evolve.
Eight county jail inmates have just graduated from the DuPage County Jail's new Janitorial Work Program. Each has earned the Custodial Technician Certification from ISSA's Cleaning Management Institute, one of the most respected education and certification programs in the professional cleaning industry.
In honour of their graduation, all eight inmates wore blue caps and gowns and ceremoniously tossed their caps into the air after the ceremony.
"Young people are living in an uncertain world," notes David Garcia, vice president and treasurer of the CHSA and the driving force behind the Association's Bursary programme.
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