Visibility of Cleaning Staff Sways Public Opinion of Hospital Hygiene

Nursing Times is reporting on new research coming out of the UK showing that the public considers staff hygiene and the level of visibility of environmental services staff when making decisions about whether a healthcare facility appears to be sanitary. Staff personal hygiene, outsourced cleaning contracts and not knowing where to complain were factors the public considers when asked to rate hospital cleanliness, this research has found.

The West Midlands strategic health authority in the UK commissioned the survey on patient perception of hospital hygiene, and the SHAs program specialist for healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs), Vanessa Whatley, presented the findings at the Infection Control 2010 conference.

Nursing Times reports that Whatley told conference attendees that patients assumptions about infection rates were significantly influenced by the visibility of cleaning staff.

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Reference: Clover B. Visibility of hospital cleaners affects perceptions of hygiene. Nursing Times. Oct. 5,  2010