Scottish Government
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Full steam ahead for hospital cleaning

Hospital cleaning throughout Scotland is being given a helping hand delivered through steam power.

The Scottish Government is spending £400,000 on 250 steam cleaners which will be distributed to health boards. These are the most modern and efficient way of carrying out specialist cleaning and used in conjunction with micro-fibre cloths are particularly effective against Clostridium difficile.

Health Secretary Nicola Sturgeon said:

"Cleanliness is crucial in our hospitals and is a simple way to help combat infections like MRSA and C.diff.

"Tackling healthcare associated infections is my top priority because it's vital that the public have confidence in the care they will receive if they need hospital treatment.

"Steam cleaning is a particularly effective way of cleaning areas affected by C.diff and substantially increasing the number of steam cleaners available to the NHS will ensure they are available locally when needed.

"Nobody should doubt my commitment to this issue and this announcement is part of a comprehensive programme designed to crackdown on hospital bugs. It follows hard on the heels of a raft of initiatives with more to come on stream in coming weeks."

There are currently 20 steam cleaning machines available across NHS Scotland but, as there is now sufficient evidence to prove their effectiveness, the government is investing to ensure all boards across Scotland can benefit from the latest technology.

Health Facilities Scotland will procure the steam cleaning packages on behalf of NHS Scotland. These will then be distributed to health boards.

The Scottish Government is investing £54 million (over three years) in a range of initiatives designed to tackle HAIs. These include a national MRSA screening programme, prudent prescribing of antibiotics, 100 per cent single room provision in all new hospitals and a Care Environment Inspectorate to carry out unannounced inspections of hospitals.

In addition, all published information on infection rates, hand hygiene and cleaning compliance, including information from the HAI reporting template, is available.

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