Cleaning hospitals is a major challenge. According to research, around 10 % of in-patients acquire at least one healthcare-associated infection during their stay. Worryingly, many succumb to their illnesses, highlighting the value of proper cleaning. But how do you get hospital cleaning right? Read on to learn more.
Use the right disinfectants
Not all disinfectants are equally effective, or suitable for use in every room. There’s often a trade-off between a cleaning agent’s effectiveness and chemical safety for patients. Bleach is extremely powerful for killing germs, but isn’t appropriate for washing up, for example.
Use electrostatic spray application
Electrostatic sprays use charged particles to encourage tiny droplets of disinfectant to stick to the surface of objects that need cleaning. They offer two advantages over standard cleaning procedures.
First, they coat the entire surface area of the object being cleaned. Each droplet experiences a charged attraction to the neutral object causing it to stick, but also repulsion from every other droplet, encouraging uniform coverage.
Second, electrostatic sprays eliminate the need to use wipes or cloths (which can harbour germs). Simply depressing the trigger emits a stream of cleaning fluid from the nozzle without the need for any further contact with the cleaning surface.
Wear the right PPE
Avoiding direct contact with contaminated surfaces is essential in hospital environments. Without PPE, cleaners could inadvertently transfer germs on surfaces, increasing the risk of infection.
Cleaners should also be aware of PPE protocols. For example, they should change gloves when cleaning patients’ rooms to prevent cross-contamination.
Concentrate on “high touch surfaces”
People touch some hospital surfaces, such as light switches, door knobs, bathroom handrails, and taps, more than others. Because of this, they can quickly become vectors for disease transmission.
Therefore, hospital cleaning should focus on these high-touch areas as regular disinfection can help to prevent the spread of germs.
Tackle the cleanest areas first
Lastly, cleaners should avoid the temptation to clean the dirtiest areas first. While they might seem to be in the greatest need of help, tackling them first can cause contamination of cleaner areas. It’s best to start with the easiest tasks and then work down the list.
The benefits of commercial hospital cleaning are tremendous. Getting it right results in fewer nosocomial infections and a safer patient experience.
If you’re struggling with hospital cleaning (or any other form of commercial cleaning for that matter), please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at Associated Cleaning Contractors to learn more about our hospital cleaning services.
What your organisation should think about when it comes to the debate on gender-neutral washrooms
Unisex washrooms may soon become the norm in our increasingly evolving and equal society. It’s an issue that can still cause some debate, but putting aside the moral arguments for and against gender-neutral bathrooms, there are some practical considerations that all organisations need to consider.
The realities and norms of single-sex toilets
In most countries, it is accepted that all washrooms in public buildings and most in the workplace will be segregated into ladies’ and gents’ facilities. But times are changing and we live in a much more inclusive society.
The non-binary and transgender communities in particular are challenging the need to divide washrooms by gender. A recent YouGov survey in conjunction with Stonewall concluded that nearly half of transgender people felt unsafe using single-sex public toilets.
Aside from the debates on rights and safety concerning transgender, non-binary and people who identify as either gender – which continues to rage – it’s also true that unisex washrooms remove the worry that parents or caregivers may have when taking children or less-abled people of a different sex to the toilet. It’s simply not acceptable for children or people with an impairment to have to visit a bathroom unaccompanied when they are probably unable to do so.
Covering all needs – the basics of gender-neutral bathrooms
Meeting the needs of all people who use a bathroom is becoming increasingly essential for all organisations. Each cubicle should be equipped with a toilet roll, a sanitary bag dispenser and a waste bin. It is also good practice to include a supply of toilet seat disinfectant and hand sanitiser. It matters not for whom the washroom is designated as these are practical basics that will promote hygiene and dignity for all.
But on top of the essentials, it’s also increasingly common for those who provide bathrooms and toilets to supply products that appeal to everyone. This should include air fresheners, fragrances, lotions and soaps.
There have been some high profile controversies when public buildings have adopted gender-neutral bathroom policies. Most commonly these have arisen through a lack of forethought and consultation. For example, there have been instances when schools have introduced unisex washrooms while leaving urinals in situ in facilities that girls have been expected to use.
Professional cleaning services for your washrooms
Whatever your thoughts on this subject, the fundamentals of washroom hygiene and cleanliness must apply to all. It’s no longer the case that the gents’ is accepted as a smelly place while the ladies’ always has a queue. Adopting policies that apply to all people will also assist those with hidden disabilities, cognitive issues and temporary impairments such as an injury.
Good housekeeping and thorough cleaning practices are essential for keeping patients and staff safe in hospitals. Hiring a professional specialist cleaning service with experience working in clinical settings is the best way of ensuring the job is done right. Below are some of the key services professional cleaners provide for hospitals.
Thorough cleaning and disinfecting
Proper hospital cleaning procedures ensure that every surface is disinfected, depriving germs and bacteria of a home and preventing them from contaminating clothes and equipment. Cleaners need to know what disinfectants and cleaning utensils to use to accomplish this. Specialist cleaners will know which tools to use for the job.
Appropriate use of PPE
Even in the pre-Covid world, all hospital staff needed to use suitable personal protective equipment. Since Covid arrived on the scene, this has become even more important. Experienced hospital cleaners will already be familiar with the available PPE options and how to use them to keep themselves and those around them safe.
Prioritising high-touch surfaces
Cleaners need to cover every possible surface in a hospital to ensure there are no forgotten areas where pathogens could potentially accumulate. However, some surfaces, particularly high-touch surfaces that patients and staff touch more than others throughout the day, require more attention. Professional contract cleaners working in hospitals will know to hone in on these surfaces and ensure they get the attention they need.
Starting with the cleanest areas first
A common mistake among less experienced hospital cleaners is first to begin cleaning the dirtiest areas before moving to cleaner zones. This approach can cause problems because it increases the chances of inadvertently spreading pathogens from the dirtier areas. This rule also applies to patients’ rooms; cleaning should begin with the lowest-risk patient’s rooms and end with those who are more infectious or ill.
Throughout their work, hospital cleaners need to be mindful of potential cross-contamination. To minimise the risk of cross-contamination, cleaners need to consider their workflow and make sure contaminants are isolated and disposed of as soon as possible.
Hiring experienced contract cleaners who understand the unique challenges involved in cleaning hospitals ensures the best service possible and minimises the risks associated with cross-contamination and improper disposal. Proper cleaning is essential for keeping hospital environments clean and ensuring the safety of patients and staff. To find out more about our professional hospital cleaning services, get in touch today.
Thinking about hiring a professional cleaner to help with your commercial property? There are many benefits of doing this, including freeing up time for more important jobs or removing the need for an in-house cleaner.
Here are 4 reasons that professional cleaning really is worth the money.
Your property will always impress
If you are in charge of a commercial premises, like an office, school or restaurant, you will be responsible for making sure that it is always spotless. As well as ensuring that visitors are happy with the cleanliness, there are also health and safety regulations like food hygiene ratings that need to be met.
Our professional team of cleaners are trained to the highest standard so that you can rest assured your workplace always meets every standard.
Cleaners can be flexible
Need someone to come and clean on a Saturday? Or perhaps you want to arrange for cleaning out of your working hours?
One of the great things about hiring a cleaning company is that it is flexible to suit your individual needs. Our cleaners can come to your premises at a convenient time to guarantee minimal disruption to you and your employees.
We offer a wide range of packages to suit every budget, whether you’re looking for daily visits or something less frequent, like fortnightly or monthly cleans.
ACC works hard to make sure that you don’t pay more than you need to and still get a reliable, professional service.
It saves you time
As a manager or business owner, you probably have much more important things to be doing than cleaning.
It is still an important job that needs to be done, but is it worthwhile for you or one of your employees to be doing it?
Our commercial cleaning service is a hassle-free way to maintain the tidiness and cleanliness of your property while saving you hours of valuable time. So, leave the cleaning to us (it’s what we do after all!)
If you would like to discuss the needs of your North West business, we would be more than happy to help. Get in touch with us by calling 01204 495 222 or emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Keeping hospitals clean is essential. Dirty environments are far more prone to bacterial and viral buildups, which increases the chances of patient infection.
But how do you carry out effective hospital cleaning? You’re about to find out. In this post, we list five tips to help you. Check them out below.
Wear the correct PPE
Before you start cleaning, it’s essential to wear the correct personal protective equipment. This way, you protect both staff and patients by avoiding contact with potentially contaminated surfaces. Make sure that you wear eye protection to protect the eyes from any sprays while using nitrile or disposable gloves for the hands.
Choose the correct disinfectant
There are several substances that kill both viruses and bacteria, but it is critical to choose the right one. Alcohols and bleaches are the most common forms of disinfectant used in hospitals, but there are others.
When choosing a disinfectant, you’ll want to consider both safety and dwell time – how long it exerts its anti-germ effect. Generally, you’ll use stronger disinfectants on floors and milder ones on equipment. Again, staff should wear gloves when applying potent disinfectants as they may cause skin irritation or damage.
Focus cleaning efforts on high-touch surfaces
In hospitals, people touch some surfaces more than others. For this reason, cleaning should follow a priority system, starting with the most-touched surfaces, and then working back from there.
Top cleaning targets include doorknobs, bathroom handrails, faucets and light switches. Lower priorities include flooring, behind machines and under beds.
Remove cleaning implements immediately
Once cleaning is complete, it is important to remove contaminated objects from the environment as rapidly as possible. Take things like mops, dirty water and cleaning pads to a secure waste disposal area to avoid cross-contamination. If vacuuming, remove the dust bag away from hospital facilities at a secure location. Avoid disposing of contaminated items in areas that come into close contact with patients.
Reduce chemical content
While chemicals are excellent at killing germs, they may also cause allergies and inflammation in patients. Reduce the chemical content of your cleaning solutions as much as possible. Use simple commercial preparations that focus on active ingredient delivery. Avoid scented products.
Preventing infection from spreading in hospitals is essential – more so than in practically any other setting. Patients with weakened immune systems need wards to be spotless to prevent sickness.
Keeping hospitals clean is challenging but professional hospital cleaning services can help.
They avoid double dipping
Professionals don’t use the same cloth or piece of cleaning equipment they’ve used on one surface for another one. Instead, they use a fresh one.
They regularly wash their hands
The small folds in the skin on the hands are a breeding ground for germs. That’s why it is so important to regularly wash your hands when cleaning a hospital. If you don’t, you could end up transferring bacteria from your hands to the cleaning implements themselves, and then spreading them around the hospital.
Professionals wash their hands regularly for at least 30 seconds under hot running water with soap. If they don’t have access to hand-washing facilities (unlikely in a hospital), then they use hand sanitiser with an alcohol content of 70% or more.
They use the right tools
Professional hospital cleaners always make sure that they use the right tools for the job. Cleaning implements should vary depending on the equipment, the height of the surface being cleaned, and the type of surface. It should also comply with the manufacturer’s specifications. Pros avoid using abrasive tools unless they are absolutely sure they are suitable for the application.
They prepare first
Furthermore, people who clean hospitals for a living clean their equipment as they move from one room to the next. Regular cleaning helps to prevent cross-contamination.
They create a list of jobs
Hospital cleaning is detailed work. Professionals need to make sure that they clean every surface to prevent germs from spreading.
For this reason, hospital cleaners follow a detailed schedule of tasks. This way, they avoid missing any critical jobs that could potentially lead to patient infections.
The lists they create depend heavily on the type of facility they’re cleaning. Clearly, protocols for sanitising an operating theatre are different from a conventional ward.
They use antibacterial cleaning equipment
Lastly, professional cleaners use antibacterial cleaning supplies. Microfibre cloths are intrinsically hostile to germs but sponges are not.
If you’re looking to hire the services of a commercial cleaning business, but aren’t sure who to choose or what things to consider, the following information should help you make the best decision possible.
Cleaners suited to your needs
Business needs vary enormously, so when it comes to keeping your premises or site clean, safe and hygienic, it’s vital that you choose a cleaning company that can address, and accommodate, your individual needs and requirements. This is especially important if health and safety is a significant factor, such as in medical environments, in the construction industry and anywhere that handles food or drink – particularly with the recent pandemic.
Find out what experience a company has overall, as well as cleaning businesses in your sector, and what kind of services they can offer you. If you need multiple areas cleaning, such as cleaning windows, office and ground maintenance, then consider a company that offers a range of cleaning services.
When a company comes to give your premises a clean-up, you’ll want them to do a professional, high-quality, trustworthy job, so look for a cleaning company that ticks all the right boxes. Read through customer reviews and testimonials online and find out if the cleaning company is a member of any relevant trade associations or bodies, or accredited by them – this is a sure sign of a good reputation. Where cleaners may have contact with individuals within an organisation, such as in a school environment, make sure they have been DBS checked.
Cleaning equipment used
As well as making sure a cleaning company uses equipment that always puts health and safety as a top priority, a good cleaner should invest in the latest technology and cleaning methods to ensure the highest level of quality results possible.
Fully insured cleaners
Make sure the company you use for cleaning is fully insured, and, especially, has liability insurance in place. This means that if an accident occurs whilst they’re cleaning, such as on a building site, you won’t be held liable.
Free quote for cleaning services
When contacting a potential cleaning company they should come across as friendly, polite and professional, answering any queries you may have without resorting to using pushy sales tactics. They should also be able to provide you with a free, no-obligation quote.
With all the right credentials to our name, you’re on to a winner when choosing ACC for your cleaning needs. Get in touch with our team today to discuss your requirements and receive a free, no-obligation quote.
Office glass partitions are here to stay, whether you like it or not. They’re stylish and give your workspace a professional look while still providing privacy – and safety in a post-covid world.
Unfortunately, glass partitions need more maintenance and regular cleaning. Otherwise, they can look cloudy and smudgy, affecting your company’s reputation and image.
Luckily, you can keep your office glass partitions clean and safe with these four tips
1. Use specialist cleaners
Cleaning glass surfaces can be tricky as the wrong product or cleaning technique can leave them with streaks and scratches. That’s why it’s advisable to outsource glass cleaning to experts that have the tools, knowledge and skills required to clean your office glass partitions properly.
Specialist cleaners use the right ingredients and equipment to clean your glass partitions and are much gentler, guaranteeing a scratch-free, gleaming glass surface.
2. Schedule regular cleaning services
One sure way to keep up with your office clean-up and glass cleaning is to schedule regular professional cleaning services. This can be once a week, twice a month or even once every three months, depending on the size of your office and the work you do.
Regular cleaning services prevent dust and dirt build-up while eliminating any bacteria or viruses that compromise the health and safety of your employees. They also ensure your glass partitions remain sparkling and clear all the time.
3. Minimise contact
Office glass partitions become dirty easily, especially if you have many employees. From fingerprints to sweat marks, they can quickly look unsightly, even with regular cleaning. So, ensure your staff members aren’t leaning against or touching any glass surfaces in your office.
This simple precaution saves you the hassle of lots of future cleaning and keeps your glass partitions streak-free until your next professional window cleaning.
4. Use a dry paper towel
If your office glass partitions are prone to accumulating dust, wipe them down with a dry paper towel instead of a wet one (this leaves streaks on the glass). Remember, it’s better to leave glass cleaning to a professional like Associated Cleaning Contractors as they know how to clean glass surfaces without causing streaks or scratches.
A typical scenario that faces almost every accident and emergency doctor every time they arrive for their shift is the nagging doubt that they will be exposed to infection and could become ill.
The pandemic has highlighted the need for an efficient and rigorous cleaning regime and brought into focus how important it is for everyone on the frontline to have the right PPE and to be able to work in a clean and safe working environment.
The obvious problem is that if a nurse or a doctor gets sick, they will no longer be able to help their patients. That is why cleaning and protection protocols have to be the highest standard possible to keep everyone as safe as possible.
Let’s take a look at some of the challenges of keeping A&E departments clean and how outsourcing might be the solution you need.
No time for cleaning
Any doctor or nurse will tell you that they are fully employed with looking after people throughout their shift. Despite being acutely aware of how important it is to have excellent health and safety protocols, they are entirely reliant on others to help maintain standards.
Nursing staff and doctors clearly have to practice good hygiene and safety protocols to protect themselves and the patients they are treating. Still, they don’t have the same level of control over their working environment. This factor is especially true in A&E, as patients are coming and going at all hours of the day.
Many hospital staff simply don’t have the time to focus their attention on anything other than patient care and have to rely on the hospital having procedures in place that make their work environment as safe as possible.
The case for outsourcing cleaning
The ultimate aim with infection control and maintaining hygiene standards is consistency.
The problem that many hospitals struggle with is a high turnover of cleaning staff. They also suffer from employees not receiving up-to-date training and gaps in their knowledge of healthcare regulations.
Outsourcing hospital cleaning services can provide a solution to a number of these critical issues. This is because a contractor will provide trained staff and will be there to carry out cleaning tasks daily. For A&E departments, this is vital in keeping the main entrance point to the hospital clean and safe for everyone.
It is also a way of ensuring that cleaning processes and procedures are consistent, and that can only be a good thing for both healthcare workers in the hospital and patients too.
Get in touch with ACC today to find out more about the benefits of outsourcing your cleaning requirements in hospitals and A&E departments.
The healthcare sector has always been focused on helping people when they are at their most vulnerable. Over the last year or so, the value and necessity of the healthcare system has been exemplified, with all those involved in the medical profession going above and beyond to keep people safe and to minimise the impacts associated with Covid-19.
What has also become clear during the last 12 months is that a focus on cleanliness, especially in hospitals, is key. Medical cleaning is a serious business and must always be given the attention and focus it warrants, especially when considering the robust guidelines set out by senior professional bodies such as the CDC and APIC.
With that in mind, here are three key reasons why all hospitals and medical operations should be making use of professional cleaning services to keep their facilities clean and ensure the protection of staff and patients alike.
1. Commercial cleaners are consistent
When it comes to cleaning thoroughly, commercial cleaning operators know what they are doing, and that’s because they’ve been trained well and have done it all before. Cleaning contract companies are experienced when it comes to hitting tough industry standards; they know what needs to be done in what order and will be able to get the job done promptly.
2. Professional cleaners focus on compliance
Professional cleaners not only understand what needs to be done to ensure cleaning operations are compliant, but they understand the value and importance of being thorough. Cleaning companies know that; should they fall below the standards required of them, they are liable to be hit with fines and could also garner a poor reputation, and this is something they, of course, want to avoid at all times.
3. Increased levels of health and safety
The overall benefit of cleanliness is, of course, that it increases the overall levels of health and safety in any given facility. When people are at their most vulnerable or are liable to succumb to illness – especially regarding contagious diseases – the importance of sterilisation and a robust cleaning routine is paramount. Professional cleaning organisations know about the correct ways of disinfecting and sterilising and know-how to ensure that cross-contamination does not occur.