Back to all Motions

2010 Health Care Service Group Conference
11 December 2009
Carried as Amended

Conference recognises and welcomes the ongoing campaign to gain recognition for cleaners in the NHS as part of the healthcare team.

Initiatives such as the successful UNISON Cleaners Conference 2009 and Clean Hospitals Committees help raise the profile of Cleaners and demonstrate how they play an integral part in patient safety and care.

UNISON sponsored research by Stephanie Dancer has brought recognition to the ‘science of cleaning’ by NHS organisations and the Department of Health. Targeted cleaning and the impact it can have on the incidence of Health Care Associated Infections (HCAIs) and the savings in overall running costs is finally being acknowledged.

Further work carried out by Steve Davies on behalf of UNISON in to the impact the procurement process has on the quality of cleaning and HCAIs strengthens UNISON’s campaign for cleaning services to be in-house.

The Government initiative to establish a British Standard for Cleaning in the NHS is a welcome development. However, such a standard should be used to review current learning and also underpin new learning that cleaners could access as part of a career/learning progression pathway.

Whilst recognising and acknowledging the role of cleaners, pay remuneration/reward remains an issue that needs to be addressed.

Conference calls upon the Health Group Executive to:

·Continue to campaign for whole team approaches to infection control and increase the role of cleaners via new roles such as in microbiological testing and managing bed occupancy rates for their impact on HCAIs;

·Campaign for a clear and transparent career/learning progression framework/ pathway with developed competencies/qualification routes linked to pay progression;

·Examine how KSF/apprenticeships/leadership & management training/QCF can be used in developing a career/learning progression framework;

·Continue to campaign for proper recognition and appropriate remuneration/reward for the role and skills of the cleaner as part of the healthcare/ward team in delivering clean, safe patient care;

·Continue to campaign for cleaning services to be in-house by utilising and developing further the arguments established by Steve Davies around procurement and Stephanie Dancers work on targeted cleaning;

– Where cleaning services are in-house, campaign for an end to bank contracts, in favour of substantive posts. Also campaign to ensure that agency staff are not paid any less than Agenda for Change rates, including unsocial hour payments.