Rubbermaid Testimonial Mayday Hospital

Published on Apr 26, 2013

Rentokil Initial is one of the largest business services companies
in the world, operating throughout Europe, North America, the Asia
Pacific, and Africa. The company has 70,000 employees in over 40
countries. Initial Hospital Services, one of its subdivisions, provides
non-clinical support services (including cleaning, catering, reception,
and switchboard provisions) to both public and private hospitals
throughout the United Kingdom. At the Mayday NHS Hospital in
Croydon, South London, Initial Hospital Services has been providing
cleaning and portering services since 1991. It employs 270 staff
members at the hospital who are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a

The Challenge
NHS standards require that each clinical room at Mayday Hospital
be cleaned at least three times per day. With 670 beds and
average occupancy rates close to 99%, this represents a significant
challenge for the cleaning team.
The method being used at Mayday Hospital was simply not effective
enough. Classified as a ‘traditional’ cleaning system, the process
involved using cotton mops and changing the water and detergent
regularly (at least once after the cleaning of each individual room
and more frequently if needed). The mops were colour-coded
according to the NHS 4-area system (blue for general areas, red
for sanitary areas, yellow for infectious areas, and green for kitchen
areas) to ensure that mops for one area were not used in another.
However, throughout the course of the day the same mop would be
used in a large number of rooms within its colour area: It would only
be changed at the start of the evening shift, at which point it was
sent to be laundered.
This system posed a variety of problems, most of them stemming
from the concern that the water is only clean the first time it is
used. In particular, it raises the question, “When does one classify the water as being dirty?” While members of the cleaning staff
are instructed to change the water after cleaning each individual
room, within a room itself it is left up to the individual cleaner to
make the highly subjective decision as to when the water needs to
be changed. It also means that if the water is not changed often
enough (especially in a large room) the cleaning process could be
moving dirt from one part of the room to another, thus spreading
germs rather than removing them. Such a system also relies
heavily on the use of large amounts of cleaning chemicals in the
water in order to disinfect properly, with the associated waste that
this entails. Lastly, it places a large amount of strain on the cleaning
staff since each time they need to change the water, they must walk
down the hallway to the cleaning cupboards where there is a water
source, then carry the buckets all the way back to the room they
must clean. This is both physically tiring for the staff and highly

The Solution
After a thorough search of the most innovative cleaning solutions
on the market, Initial Hospital Services chose the Rubbermaid
Commercial Products Microfibre Cleaning System. The solution
consists of a cart with a laundry bag, a charging bucket, and a mop
whose head is fitted with changeable Microfibre cleaning pads.
These cleaning pads are made of Microfibre material, which is much
more effective than cotton for cleaning.
The system is designed so that the cleaning worker can ‘preimpregnate’ the cleaning pads (i.e. wet them with the proper dosage
of water and detergent) and store them in the charging bucket on the
cart, which can hold up to 20 pads. The worker then brings the cart
to the series of rooms which he needs to clean. In the first room,
he takes out one of the cleaning pads (already pre-impregnated for
cleaning), attaches it to the top of the mop, and proceeds to clean
the floor. When he is finished, he removes the dirty cleaning pad
and places it in the cart’s laundry bag. He then moves to the next
room, where he takes out a new pad for the cleaning of that room. At the end of the shift, the dirty pads in the laundry bag are sent
to be washed. Assuming one pad used per room (although more
may be required for larger rooms), a cleaning worker should be
able to clean 20 single-bedded rooms with one cart. Initial Hospital
Services has also implemented a similar Rubbermaid system for
the cleaning of bathrooms. These carts are coloured red (according
to the NHS 4-area system) to clearly indicate that they are only for
sanitary areas.

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