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Hospital hygiene – a reputation to be maintained

The health and wellbeing of everyone is our priority at Benenden Hospital, whether you’re a patient, a visitor, or a member of our team.

Reducing the risk of infection has always been and remains a priority for us and we’ve had no cases of hospital acquired infections such as MRSA or Clostridium Difficile (C.diff) as far as our records go back.

Keeping any hospital clean and infection free can be a challenge, but especially so with the advent of Covid-19 and, not surprisingly, given the pandemic, people have concerns about attending for an outpatient appointment, investigations or inpatient treatment. We know Benenden Hospital is an extremely clean and safe location, but we’ve enhanced the stringent measures already in place, to provide even greater safety and confidence for everyone coming to our hospital.

These measures are vital and a key group of people who ensure our rigorous hygiene standards are maintained is our housekeeping team. Employed directly by the hospital, they ensure standards remain high and quite simply, are some of our unsung heroes who consistently go above and beyond to help ensure the hospital remans a clean and safe environment for all.

The team is led by Marian Chandler, the hospital’s Housekeeping Manager, who has responsibility for 28, mainly part-time, staff; Marian is also part of the hospital’s infection prevention and control team.

Trained to clean

All new housekeeping staff don’t simply “start” on their rounds of the hospital when they join. Team members undertake a rigorous training programme run by Marian’s colleague, Jane Marrable.

This training programme includes “isolation cleans”. Isolation cleans are required when a patient has left a room and for example their MRSA test results are not yet available or they have tested positive for C.diff, bacteria that can infect the bowel and cause diarrhoea.

Staff training in this procedure involves a full room clean, where the team member learns how to use scrubbing machines and steam cleaners, and something called a fogging machine: this machine emits a fine mist into the room with a chemical which is 99.9% effective against MRSA.

Since the onset of Covid-19 we have also critically reviewed and questioned the how, why and what of everything we do, including a review of the chemicals and cleaning agents we use to ensure these are fully effective against Covid-19.

The challenge of Covid-19, has made the housekeeping team at Benenden Hospital even more focused in their approach. Cleanliness is crucial and there has always been a robust cleaning regime in place but due to the pandemic, having excellent standards is of even greater importance.

We are so proud of the housekeeping team and all they do in keeping everybody safe.

Infection prevention and control

Find out more about our Infection Control team and their commitment to the development and maintenance of a safe environment for patients, staff and visitors.

Published on 22 February 2021