Directors at Leicester’s hospitals have instructed the private company, Interserve, to report results from audits carried out at the first inspection instead of on those after a re-clean.
It comes amid growing concern over cleaning standards and members of the union Unison fighting plans to merge the role of cleaners and catering staff.
One member of staff, who asked not to be named, said: “We used to be one of the best hospital trusts in the country but now when you walk into the hospitals it doesn’t look clean. I am sure the clinical areas probably are clean, but first impressions do count for a lot.”
In a report to directors, Carole Ribbins, acting chief nurse, said: “The practice of re-auditing cleaning until a satisfactory score is returned has been viewed as inappropriate and likely to lead to sub-optimal cleaning.”
She said the new reporting “should give a more accurate picture of any inadequate cleaning practice, allowing focused attention on these areas with the intention that this will raise the standard of cleaning”.
Liz Tebbutt, performance and quality assurance manager at Leicester’s hospitals said the changes would mean more cleaning audits in high-risk areas such as the intensive care units.