The Press Association is suggesting that dirty hospitals have led to the spread of superbugs and other infections and that government cleaning initiatives have been unable to resolve the problem completely.
In October 2005 a survey showed that the number of NHS cleaners had been reduced by almost half over 10 years – while the number of cases of infection by hospital superbugs had soared.
Gordon Brown ordered all NHS hospitals to conduct a ‘deep clean’ in September 2007 to tackle the spread of infections.
Medical experts were quick to put down Mr Brown’s plans saying that person-to-person transfers were the main source of superbug infection.
Dr Ronald Cutler, at the University of East London, said: ‘Although deep-cleaning contaminated areas of hospitals could temporarily benefit the overall hygiene of the selected area, it would be a mistake to think that this alone would remove the threat of MRSA. The main source of the organism remains other patients and staff in the wards and transfer is mainly due to insufficient or improper hand-washing.’
The NHS deep clean programme was labelled a “shambles” by the Tories earlier this year. Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showed that only about a quarter of the cash allocated by the Government had reached hospitals.
Andrew Lansley, Shadow Health Secretary said: ‘It is appalling that Gordon Brown has broken his promise to fund it and now the local NHS has ended up footing the bill. Every penny spent on this programme is a penny taken away from their local health priorities.’