Poor hygiene at Swedish hospitals

Published måndag 10 december 2012 kl 11.58
 En undersköterska på akuten på Södersjukhuset lindar foten på en patient Foto: Leif R Jansson/Scanpix.
File photo: Leif R Jansson/Scanpix.

Swedish hospitals are failing to follow national hygiene standards, with a majority cleaning the toilets just once a day or less.

Just seven out of Sweden’s 52 largest hospitals follow the national guidelines for hygiene and cleanliness that were published in the autumn, reveals the Dagens Nyheter newspaper today.

The guidelines stipulate that hospital toilets should be cleaned at least twice per day and that wards should be cleaned daily.

However, most hospitals clean their toilets just once a day.  By comparison, gas stations in Sweden tend to clean their toilets eight times a day.

Just half of the hospitals have their wards cleaned daily, while the others only get cleaned six days per week or only between Mondays and Fridays.

“If a department is open seven days per week then of course if should also be cleaned seven days,” said Mall Kriisa, hygiene doctor and author of the guidelines for the Swedish Association of Healthcare Hygiene (Svensk Förening för Vårdhygien).

When it comes to cleaning routines, the public sector is falling way behind  the private sector.  Public toilets at airports, fast-food outlets and gas stations are generally cleaned several times a day.

The Statoil chain of gas stations introduced a cleaning policy in 2005 stipulating that customer toilets should be checked and cleaned every three hours.

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