QMC cleaning contract ‘expected’ to move back in-house

Video: Cllr John Clarke hopes that lessons will be learned

QMC’s cleaning contract is likely to move back in-house, according to a councillor scrutinising health decisions in Notts.

Councillor John Clarke says he ‘expects’ cleaning operations to move back under the control of QMC and city hospital, where bosses announced last month they are cancelling their current deal with private company Carillion.

Managers of Nottingham University Hospitals Trust said last month they ‘continue to be concerned about the performance of the contract’ after ‘serious concerns‘ were initially raised in October.

Carillion employs around 1,500 people and is also responsible for providing support services such as car parking, catering, cleaning, laundry, linen and security.

The contract had been in place since April 2014 and is worth £200m per year but Cllr Clarke, a member of the city and county’s joint health and scrutiny committee, says he is pleased it is coming to an end.

He said: “I expect there will be a clear move to change the contractor and bring it back in house.

“There’s a team working on the negotiations of the cleaning contract at the moment and they’re looking at how they can improve the services.

“The problem is that it’s a massive contract – it’s not just a case of flicking a switch off, you’ve got to work out how you do that, the rights of the worker, there’s a lot of things to sort out.

“I wouldn’t expect anything before Spring, when I expect there to be a further announcement by the QMC and they will make it quite clear about what will happen with the cleanliness levels in the building.”

City Hospital (original picture by David Hallam-Jones cc-by-sa-2.0) and Queen’s Medical Centre (original picture by Harry Mitchell cc-by-sa-3.0)

Speaking at the time the contract was cancelled, chief executive of NUH Peter Homa said: “The trust board has decided that significant changes to the arrangements with Carillion are required.

“NUH and Carillion are jointly exploring a managed exit from the Carillion contract and we are commencing discussions to determine next steps.

“Estates and Facilities staff will remain employed by Carillion until such time as future arrangements are agreed by both parties, which we anticipate to be January 2017.

“We will continue to keep our patients, partners and external stakeholders informed as there are further developments.”