‘Serious concerns’ over how clean Nottingham hospitals are

Queen's Medical Centre, Nottingham

Bosses are still worried about cleanliness at Nottingham’s two main hospitals despite a contractor’s attempts to improve.

Managers of the Queen’s Medical Centre and Nottingham City Hospital have been putting pressure on private company Carillion to up standards.

The company has a £200 million-a-year contract to keep both sites clean for Nottingham University Hospitals Trust (NUH).

But a union has raised concerns about standards, and photographs emerged in the summer showing a build-up of dirty dinner dishes on wards and grimy surfaces.

NUH bosses called on the company to improve but this week said not enough improvement is being made.

Peter Homa.

Following a board meeting on Thursday, which discussed the problem, NUH chief executive Peter Homa said: “After implementing several rigorous interventions, serious concerns remain about the cleanliness of our hospitals.

“Enhanced audits completed during October will provide the Trust with an independent assessment of cleanliness standards across our hospitals.

“We will again raise our serious concerns at the highest levels in Carillion.

“We will evaluate this independent report over the coming week, whilst bringing together all available evidence so that the NUH Trust Board can make a decision on the future provision of cleaning services and the wider Carillion contract by the end of November.”

Carillion has responded by saying the comments “do not reflect” current performance on wards.

But Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood suggested on Friday the contract should be taken away from the company.

There have been concerns about kitchen cleanliness at Nottingham City Hospital.

“Carillion have let down patients and staff for long enough,” she tweeted.

“Our NHS deserves better.”

A spokesman for Carillion said the firm was “disappointed” with Mr Homa’s comments.

“They [the comments] do not reflect recognised improvements in service levels,” they said.

“We have recruited additional cleaning staff, carried out training programmes and adapted working practices to meet the concerns of the trust.

“We continue to work with the trust to ensure clarity about where responsibility for certain cleaning duties lies between the trust’s team and our own cleaning staff who work hard to do a good job for patients and nursing staff.

“Based on the report to the trust’s board it is clear that further work is jointly needed to ensure the best experience for patients and their families.”