Full steam ahead for scheme to deep clean beds at Queen Alexandra Hospital

DEEP Mustapha Bentoumia, infection prevention cleaner, steaming a bed.  Picture: Sarah Standing (120881-1844)
DEEP Mustapha Bentoumia, infection prevention cleaner, steaming a bed. Picture: Sarah Standing (120881-1844)

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BEDS at Queen Alexandra Hospital are being steam-cleaned in a pilot project to reduce infections spreading.

In the first three weeks, 1,500 bed cleans were done as part of a new process to rid them of bacteria.

And if successful the scheme could be rolled out across the whole hospital permanently.

Matthew Richardson, is a senior nurse for infection prevention at the Cosham-hospital and says swab readings are already showing a reduction in dirt counts.

The beds are tested with a swab machine, which measures the amount of dirt on a bed not seen by the naked eye. Under 30 is a good score.

He said: ‘Every time a patient was discharged a nurse would be in to clean the frame with a soapy wipe.

‘That was done on the ward in the bed space.

‘When we were doing swabs some beds had high rates for tests of possible dirt.

‘On average the rate was coming up as just over 200.

‘It would depend on how long the patient had been in bed and what was wrong with them. Now we’re able to dismantle the bed to give it a deep clean.’

QA has 1,250 beds, excluding the intensive care, maternity and paediatric ward bed, that can benefit from the steam-clean method.

It takes 20 minutes to clean each bed and around 80 are cleaned a day.

Bedding is removed at the ward then either a nurse or cleaning porter will bring the bed up to the cleaning area.

Once there the frame is dismantled and a team of two use a low-pressure steam machine to clean it.

It is then reassembled and swabbed again.

A sample is taken and then put into a device, which gives a count in 15 seconds.

If the reading is lower than 30 – a grade recognised as a catering standard – then the bed is ready to go back on to a ward, and if not the bed needs to be recleaned.

It is hoped the system will prevent hospital bugs developing.