Ipswich: Cuts to cleaners at the town’s hospital could be fatal error, critics warn

IPSWICH: As the axe hangs over cleaning jobs at our hospital, residents today branded the possible cuts a major hazard with potentially fatal consequences.

The Evening Star has been inundated with letters of concern, with whistlebowers revealing that talk of cuts to the oncology ward’s cleaning team were rife in the hospital’s corridors.

While Ipswich Hospital’s cleaning and catering contractor ISS states that redundancies were not necessarily an option, the Star understands that up to 50 members of staff could be cut across different departments.

One source, who asked to remain anonymous said that the hospital’s cancer ward cleaners could see a major reduction, despite patients relying on a completely sanitised environment.

He added: “We treat patients who have little or no immune system and anything other than a perfectly clean department is a major hazard, which could lead to death.

“I feel so sorry for the staff involved and feel the hospital will be losing some good people.”

Another concerned resident said cuts would have an horrendous effect on patients and that “standards would drop”.

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Jan Rowsell, head of communications for Ipswich Hospital, said: “Patient safety is our hospital’s top priority and the contract we have with our cleaning providers defines both our very high standards and those laid out by the national NHS guidelines.

“We carry out regular and in-depth audits to ensure standards are being met and they have indeed been met in full to date.

“In addition, 100 per cent of patients questioned last month felt their ward was clean.

“ISS, which is one of the leading companies in the UK in this sector, has assured us that their high standards will continue.”

ISS said that they could not comment on the reported redundancies on the oncology ward until the 30-day consultation period takes place.

In a previous statement, ISS said that staff could be redeployed.

n Are you facing redundancy? Do you know details of the ISS shake-up? Call the Evening Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or e-mail starnews@eveningstar.co.uk