A privately provided cleaning contract worth £200m will be discussed by board members at Nottingham University Hospitals Trust this week amid “significant concerns” over standards, HSJ has learned.
The trust is expected to discuss the contract on Thursday, including whether to terminate the estates and facility management contract with Carillion, which has been criticised after it won the five year contract in 2014.
In recent months unions and Nottingham Healthwatch have complained after a rat was spotted in a ward kitchen, and photos showed dirty ward areas following a supposed “deep clean” and overflowing bins.
There have also been reports that nurses have been forced to clean areas after Carillion staff because standards were so poor.
The trust has been demanding improvements and has cited a shortage of 70 cleaning staff as a cause of the problems. The trust warned the company in July that it faced the contract being terminated if standards did not improve.
A trust spokeswoman said the board had “significant concerns about deficiencies in cleaning standards” and other estate services provided by Carillion.
A statement from the trust said: “The NUH trust board requires urgent improvements from Carillion in response to declining cleanliness standards, as evidenced by internal and external audits, and inconsistent standards across a range of services, including linen provision, availability of equipment and portering.
“These shortfalls and inconsistencies are borne out by the unsatisfactory lived experience of our patients and staff.”
The trust said there was no evidence of an increase in infections related to poor cleaning, but said the trust was monitoring Carillion’s performance on a monthly basis.
A Carillion spokesman said: “Our people work hard to provide services that support patients and staff at Nottingham University Hospital.
“We have listened to the feedback from the trust and have recruited additional people across cleaning and portering services. We have also introduced an improvement programme, which has already resulted in no shortages of equipment or consumables and increased linen provision.
“We will continue to work closely with the trust to adapt working practices so that our services will closely match the needs of the hospitals and are confident that working with the trust we will address any outstanding issues.”
Information supplied to HSJ