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Hospital defends reputation on cleaning

PUBLISHED: 23:50 24 December 2002 | UPDATED: 13:14 03 March 2010

IPSWICH Hospital defended its changes to weekend cleaning after an anonymous letter to The Evening Star told of outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting on wards.

IPSWICH Hospital defended its changes to weekend cleaning after an anonymous letter to The Evening Star told of outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting on wards.

The letter sent by a hospital worker raised concerns about cleanliness saying The Trust had stopped cleaning on wards at weekends "solely as a cost cutting measure."

It added: "This week there have been outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting on several wards with ward staff citing lack of cleaning as "not helping the situation."

However, Ipswich Hospital's chief executive Paul Forden, today refuted claims saying: "There are no grounds to it."

He said an emergency care team has been brought in to give equal cleaning provision to all wards at weekends, instead of a select few wards, as they did in the past.

The team – in operation since December 1 – it works like a rapid response team where cleaners provide extra help when and where needed at weekends and at evenings.

"A small number of wards were given enhanced cleaning at weekends, but not all the wards," he explained. "So we were deemed to be looking after some parts and not all.

"The cleaning is no worse than it used to be – the new team is better," said Mr Forden. "To have it one area was not good enough, it should be given equal importance in all areas."

The hospital disputed claims of a rise in outbreaks of diarrhoea and vomiting on wards.

A hospital spokeswoman said: "Unfortunately it does happen and could be caused for a whole variety of reasons.

"But I have no knowledge of any rise of people suffering diarrhoea and vomiting linked to changes in cleaning."

As from February 1 next year the hospital is entering a new era of cleaning.

Giant Sodexho has lost its contract it has had with the hospital for the last seven years, which has been taken over by two companies OCS and Initial.

The hospital is to have an extra £500,000 cash injection a year into cleaning and catering.

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