AS campaigns grow to keep the NHS in public hands, and to limit the outsourcing of key services in the wake of the collapse of the contractor Carillion, it’s important to remember that hospitals are teams.
Irrespective of how they are run, the most effective are invariably those where cleaners, caterers and other ancillary staff are valued as much as the medical expertise of consultants, doctors and nurses.
And this is important as a charity claims the tired old image of Coronation Street actress Hilda Ogden with her curlers, mop and bucket does a disservice to cleaners whose low-paid work, often at anti-social hours, is, in fact, the first line in the fight against deadly hospital infections and superbugs.
As such, Antibiotic Research UK says a recent pay offer of between 11-13 per cent to hospital cleaners should mark the beginning of a concerted campaign to value the role. For, while Otley’s Wharfedale Hospital is amongst those to ensure that hand sanitisers are widely available, the cleanliness of a hospital – and its approach to hygiene – is invariably indicative of a wider management culture and whether staff function as a well-run team or not.