NUH Trust Chief Executive Peter Homa warned that cleaning company Carillion has failed to comply with hygiene standards in Nottingham hospitals and they face losing their contract.
Concerns are growing for Carillion who won its five year contract with NUH Trust in 2014 for cleaning, laundry and catering services in Nottingham City Hospital and Queen’s Medical Centre.
Reports were raised to hospital bosses of the failing hygiene standards in July.
There were also threats of ending the contract ahead of when it is scheduled to end in 2019, after staff union Unison reported rat sightings in the hospital ward kitchen on August 7 of this year.
Speaking at a monthly board meeting for the trust, NUH Trust Executive Peter Homa, said: “Compliance with cleaning standards has not been sustained, after implementing several rigorous interventions serious concerns remain about the cleanliness of our hospitals.”
Carillion claim to be disappointed with the outcome of this meeting, a spokesperson for them said, “We are disappointed with the trusts comments which do not reflect recognised improvements in service levels.
“We have put in place an improvement programme which has resulted in no shortage of equipment and additional staff are being recruited.
“We continue to work with the Trust to ensure clarity about where responsibility for certain cleaning duties lies between the Trust’s team and our own cleaning staff.”
“THEY ARE PUTTING PATIENTS AT RISK”
Carillion representatives met with staff, hospital management and Nottinghamshire South and East MPs at Nottingham City Hospital to discuss the growing list of concerns highlighted bought to their attention by Unison.
Among those attending was Nottingham South MP Lilian Greenwood, who has been vocal of her disappointment with the contractor.
The Labour MP said: “They have been asked to up their game, they have not been successful in doing so.
“They are putting patients at risk and it is time they are stripped of their contract.”
Despite their £200 million contract, reports have heard of staff shortages, lack of equipment, overflowing bins and dirty kitchens, and up to four beds per day being out of use due to outbreaks of illness.
The NUH Trust has been reporting its evidence on Carillion’s poor cleaning standards to Nottinghamshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee.
Carillion says it’s “hopeful” that the Health Scrutiny Committee will appreciate the improvements which have been achieved.
Rich Fisher, Communications Specialist for NUH Trust, said: “Enhanced audits completed during October will provide the trust with an independent assessment of cleanliness standards across our hospitals.
“We will evaluate this independent report over the coming week, whilst bringing together all available evidence so that the NUH Trust Board can make a decision.”
The trust will deliberate on the future of the Carillion contract and come to a decision by the end of November.