Hospital up for cleaning 'Oscar'

STEPHEN PULLINGER The success of a Norfolk hospital's crackdown on a deadly superbug has been reflected in its nomination at a national awards ceremony widely recognised as the Oscars of the cleaning industry.

STEPHEN PULLINGER

The success of a Norfolk hospital's crackdown on a deadly superbug has been reflected in its nomination at a national awards ceremony widely recognised as the Oscars of the cleaning industry.

Gorleston's James Paget University Hospital (JPH) has reached a national shortlist of six from nearly 100 entries in the category of Best Cleaned Healthcare Premises in the Kimberly-Clark sponsored awards.

Members of the hospital's cleaning team, headed by Nichola Hicks, the trust's head of support services, will attend the ceremony at London's Royal Lancaster Hotel on November 2 when awards will be presented by television personality Anthea Turner.

The prestigious nomination comes less than 10 months after the hospital launched a rigorous new cleaning regime after announcing an out-of-control superbug had contributed to the deaths of 17 people in a matter of three months.

Since then, a new army of nearly 40 extra cleaners has helped to reduce recorded cases of the bug - Clostridium difficile (C-diff) - to such low levels that the JPH has become a shining example to the rest of the region's hospitals in infection control.

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About a dozen other hospitals have already sought the advice of JPH staff in how to control the latest superbug threat now widely viewed as more serious than MRSA.

Nick Coveney, director of nursing and patient services, said: “We have always had very high cleaning standards and have won awards before.

“But as soon as we were faced with this hyper-virulent strain of C-diff that can cause life-threatening complications we stepped up those standards to a different level.

“We are very proud of Nichola and the team of domestic staff and the service they provide. We are confident they will represent the hospital well in this competition.”

Ms Hicks said the scale of the cleaning task was shown by the fact her team used 1,000 micro-fibre mops and 1,200 cloths every day - their effectiveness had prompted the trust to invest in a new mop wash area with the latest washing facilities.

She said: “Getting to the finals is a real boost for the team who work very hard to deliver the highest standards of cleanliness consistently, working closely with clinical staff to ensure our hospital is as clean as it can be for patients.”

They continuously invested in their services and her team - now numbering 196 full and part-time staff - worked with the latest micro-fibre products and equipment.

Joining her at the awards will be John Smith, domestic services manager, and two cleaning staff.

The awards cover a variety of sectors including education, transport, public sector and retail as well as healthcare premises.

The JPH is the only hospital in the region to reach the finals.

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