Video of Lewisham hospital cleaner prompts apology

A contractor responsible for cleaning at University Hospital Lewisham has apologised after footage emerged of a worker wiping walls and an empty bed with the same mop.

Contractor ISS Facilities Management admitted that the recorded incident was “not in line with our cleaning processes” after a request for comment from News Shopper.

The footage was uploaded via a widely shared Facebook post by Sadie Mitchell, who had visited the hospital on Saturday (November 14) after her son had a severe asthma attack.

In her social media post, she described how they were placed in one of University Hospital Lewisham’s self isolation bays on the children’s inpatients ward, while they waited for the results of a routine admission test for coronavirus.

She wrote: “When we got to the self isolation ward and were appointed a bed, the bay next to my son had food all over the floor, the bed had been stripped and all the bins on the ward was full.

“There was a child opposite awaiting results also. By 6/7PM the patient had been taken to a different ward, no cleaner/nurse attended to clean after the patient had left.

“On Sunday, still no cleaners had attended to clean the ward nor the bay that the patient had left the previous day.

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“After complaining about the ward not being cleaned a cleaner attended at 4.50pm on the Sunday”.

It was then that Ms Mitchell recorded one of ISS’s contracted cleaners wiping the floor, wall, and vacant bed with the same mop.

“The cleaner used one mop and bucket to mop the walls and floor of the bay the previous patient had left and then went to the bay next to my son and cleaned the mattress with the SAME mop and bucket of water and then mopped the floor,” she continued.

“The bins were still not changed and nothing had been wiped down. I.E chairs, bed frames, bed side unit, over bed tray ETC.

“He then left and I again complained to the nurses on duty what I had witnessed.”

She said after her complaint, the initial cleaner was called back but insisted he had already cleaned the room and accused her of not telling the truth.

She added that one of the cleaner’s colleagues had been shocked by what she had recorded.

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“The fact that the cleaner thought this was ok and was so comfortable in doing it is beyond me,” Ms Mitchell continued.

“The self isolation ward SHOULD BE cleaned twice a day EVERYDAY regardless if it’s a week or weekend.”

A spokeswoman for ISS said: “We are so sorry that this happened; we have apologised to the person who raised these concerns and are carrying out a full investigation.

“The incidents observed are not in line with our cleaning processes or the extensive training programme that our healthcare cleaners undertake to ensure the highest standards of cleaning.

“We are also undertaking an immediate review of our audit and monitoring programme, in conjunction with the Trust, to ensure that that our high standards of cleaning are adhered to and maintained at all times.”

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