Reports today have revealed that patients could be exposed to potentially lethal superbugs, because ambulances aren’t being cleaned properly.
Paramedics’ leaders and those working on the frontline are claiming their requests to “deep clean” vehicles after patients have been sick or had diarrhoea have been refused.
They say they aren’t allowed to spend time cleaning ambulances in case they compromise response targets. From April 2009, paramedics will have to answer 75% of life-threatening emergencies within 8 minutes.
A paramedic from West Lothian said: ‘We just don’t have time to clean the vehicle – we’re struggling. It’s getting worse with the pressure of work and calls have gone through the roof.’
’In this day and age, with the amount of infection going about, an ambulance should be deep cleaned at least once a week but that isn’t happening.’
Cleaners on site routinely clean the fleet, work nights and carry out deep-cleans. They also re-stock ambulances with fresh kit so crews do not have to spend their time cleaning and re-stocking.
A spokesman for the Scottish Ambulance Service, said: ‘Standards of infection control are very important to us.’
’We require that vehicles should have both a daily and weekly clean, and that the interior of the vehicle is wiped down after each patient.’