New cleaners for hospital

IPSWICH Hospital is entering a new era of cleaning. 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.

IPSWICH Hospital is entering a new era of cleaning.

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.

Trust Director of Estate and Facilities, Stephen Harrup, warned that some jobs could go within laundry and catering as part of the change.

But he added that OCS were chosen over Sodexho because "we felt that their approach to providing and managing these vital services will help us reach the high standards we need to achieve within the money we have."

OCS will take over catering, cleaning and portering while Initial will deal with the hospital laundry.

It is welcome news but a little too late for the family of Ernie Smith, whose daughters Eve Rumsby and Jenny Townes claimed it was the filthy conditions at the hospital that caused their father's death.

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Today Jenny Townes from Colchester Road said: "I am very pleased.

"As long as it is for the better of the hospital I am pleased about it."

The Evening Star highlighted the sisters' plight earlier this year when they told how 88-year-old Mr Smith had gone into the hospital in April for a routine operation to remove kidney stones.

But they claimed that during his time in hospital Mr Smith picked up an infection called Clostridium Difficile and stated their father had to clean dirty floors himself and that mops were locked away at weekends.

However with the introduction of a new company comes a new approach to cleaning and several changes are being made.

Laundry will no longer be washed on site and ward managers are to be given more direct control of cleaning and portering in each area. A wider range of food menus are also to be provided as part of the new partnership.

Mr Harrup said it was too early to tell how many jobs were likely to be lost but workers will be given the opportunity to work for the two new companies.

He said: "There will be some changes, especially in catering and laundry services and our key priority at the moment is to work with Sodexho, OCS and Initial, to clearly explain what these changes will mean for staff.

"At this very early stage, we think that some existing jobs in the laundry and catering services may be at risk."

A spokeswoman from Sodexho said: "Sodexho has had an excellent and longstanding relationship with the Trust and we are disappointed to have lost the contract.

"But we will do our utmost to ensure the smooth transfer of our services and staff."

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