Hospital cleaners at the frontline of the battle against Covid-19 have been praised for achieving the best result of any Scottish health board in a national audit.
NHS Shetland’s chief executive said he was “absolutely delighted” with the results of the national cleaning audit, which was published today.
The audit covered the period from April to June – at the height of the pandemic when cleaning and hygiene measures have been essential to tackling the virus.
Cleaners, who are some of the unsung heroes of Shetland’s battle with the virus, had to step up to new ways of working with personal protective equipment – all the while with the spectre of contracting Covid-19 looming large.
Domestic services supervisor Marie Terris said the months during the pandemic had been a tough and frightening time for domestic staff.
“Infection control measures were ramped up – giving us more to do and at a very high standard,” she said.
“For the team to do their jobs they also had to go into parts of the hospital that were very high risk and often scary yet every member of the Shetland domestic team did this with courage and diligence.”
She said cleaning involved hard physical work and to do it wearing PPE – especially masks – was very challenging.
“To have the best audit results in Scotland – especially during a time of a global pandemic – is something of which our whole team is very proud,” she added.
Hospital services manager Val Adamson said the domestics team had worked tirelessly to keep the hospital clean and safe.
“They rose to the many challenges and changes that faced them, changes that sometimes happened two or three times a day,” she added.
“They took on the extra cleaning as well as doing the normal jobs that needed to happen.
Ms Adamson said cleaning the health facilities was more than mopping a floor or cleaning a bathroom.
“It’s about keeping a clean and safe environment for patients and staff,” she added.
“Domestics play a vital role within our hospital, cleaning clinical and non-clinical areas. They are an amazing team and I, for one, am very grateful to them and for all they do.”
Lawson Bisset, head of estates and facilities, said the audit results were as much about attitude as they were about hard work and professionalism.
“All the staff in the Estates and Facilities team treat our premises with pride, and as if their family or friends were coming in as patients or visitors,” she said
Mr Dickson said the domestic team was an “incredible group”.
“These are people who take pride in their work and who, during this pandemic, are a critical part of our infection control response,” he added.
“I would like to thank each one for helping us to achieve this excellent result.
“You put your community first during a very difficult time and we are very grateful to you all.”