Hospital housekeeping audit raises more questions than it answers

News release

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A province-wide hospital housekeeping audit released yesterday by B.C.’s health authorities fails to address the root causes of poor cleaning standards at some B.C. hospitals.

And the Hospital Employees’ Union is urging health authorities to publicly disclose the full details of the external audit in order to reassure the public that B.C. hospitals are safe for patients and workers.

“The public has a right to know how these measures have been developed and how clean our operating rooms and special care nurseries are as compared to hallways and waiting areas.”

The summary audit results indicate that cleaning standards are generally lower in those health authorities where cleaning services have been contracted out to private corporations.

But HEU secretary-business manager Judy Darcy says that the audit fails to take into account factors like heavy workloads, high staff turnover and a lack of training that may contribute to the low scores reported for some hospitals.

“The fact that there are some serious cleanliness issues in some of our hospitals will come as no surprise to many patients and their families,” says Darcy.

“But this audit raises more questions than answers. The public is interested in finding solutions to the problem of dirty hospitals.”

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Contact: Mike Old, communications director, 604-828-6771 (cell)