*Cleanzine-logo-10a.jpgCleanzine: your weekly cleaning and hygiene industry newsletter 13th June 2024 Issue no. 1118

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I’ve had a fair few responses to my request at the back end of last week’s Leader for comments on the RMT rail union’s publication:  ‘Cleaning up the railways: Why a safe railway must mean the end of outsourced cleaning’ and it’s taking some time to assimilate them, so if you’ve not yet commented and wish to have your views taken into account, you can see what the RMT thinks at: https://issuu.com/rmtunion/
 
In considering the comments I’ve received to date - and through discussions with friends, family and others I’ve chatted to, it’s become clear that people tend to lump ‘outsourcing’ into one thing, rather than look at the individual parts. This tends to give people a negative view of it. When it comes to the National Health Service for example, (another institution suffering from strike action this Winter season) the outsourcing of cleaning services tends to be lumped in with other completely different types of services that have been outsourced, including care services in the home, the use of expensive nursing agencies to cover staff shortages and now the ability to use companies such as Livi for video consultations with healthcare professionals when we’re unable to secure a five-minute appointment with the ‘family doctor’, or GP. 
 
I know nurses who’ve left the employ of the NHS and joined agencies because they can earn more money that way and can also enjoy more flexibility - and that this along with the growing number of other privatised services involving individual healthcare is making many of us believe that this is all part of a slow creep towards a privatised NHS. I feel it’s wrong to lump cleaning in with these other types of outsourcing because it’s damaging to our industry. I believe that by outsourcing cleaning we’re dealing with one of the biggest problems facing the NHS – that of a shortage of the right type of staff. I know our industry is battling to cope with an enormous deficit when it comes to numbers of cleaning staff but I believe that because of the very nature of cleaning and the competent professionals involved in running our healthcare contract cleaning services – along with the dedication and commitment of those actually doing the cleaning – we manage to cover the shortages in a way that the other ‘agencies’ are often unable to. And at a far lower cost, financially, to the NHS. 
 
Your thoughts please?
 
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Jan Hobbs

12th January 2023




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