2gether Support Solutions is leading the UK in hospital cleanliness standards, thanks to our partnership with British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc).
In September 2020, 2gether, a subsidiary of East Kent Hospital University Foundation Trust (EKHUFT), set a target to train all their domestic operatives to BICSc ‘License to Practice’ standard. With around 440 domestic operatives working across five hospital sites, this is an important large-scale training programme for the organisation.
2gether is proud to announce they have worked with BICSc on a range of NHS compliant cleaning skills, which have been adapted from the Institute’s long-established Cleaning Professional’s Skills Suite. The training that employees undergo includes a number of skills such as knowledge of the ‘clean to dirty’ prioritisation technique (starting with the cleanest area first and moving on to the heavily soiled to reduce risk of cross infection) and colour coding protocols to ensure the correct equipment and materials are used in appropriate areas.
BICSc has recently rolled out version three of their training programme and 2gether is the first organisation to be trained on this version. 2gether are also the first Trust to go live with the BICSc app – meaning all assessments can be done electronically, saving a lot of printing and paperwork for employees to get their certificates and ID badges.
Trudy Gleeson, Director of Facilities Solutions at 2gether, said:
“This year, more than ever, a spotlight has been shone on the critical role of support staff in ensuring that our hospitals are cleaned to the highest of standards to control the spread of infection. Their training is as important as that of every other staff member within the healthcare environment.
“We are committed to providing the best service possible for patients, visitors and staff at East Kent Hospitals and I’d like to thank all our staff for the way they have embraced this training opportunity to enable us to provide a high standard of service. Investing in training is part of our long-term commitment to the development and retention of our valued employees.”
2gether also has eight employees qualified as assessors, and 44 employees at trainer standard. This means as soon as new employees start, they can be trained in-house to BICSc License to Practice standards. By having all 2gether domestic operatives trained to this level, the five hospital sites that 2gether currently work on can be assured of consistent industry approved standards. Having BICSc qualifications for all domestic operatives shows that 2gether are investing in their employees. In addition, all trained employees will receive PBICSc (membership to BICSc).
Denise Hanson, Head of Technical Services at BICSc, said:
“We would like to thank 2gether for their support and collaborative input with the content of this launch. The rollout of these skills will assist operatives in ensuring the infection risks posed by the delivery of services have been assessed, trained and understood.
“The provision of a clean and safe healthcare environment remains a key priority. To assist with this, BICSc has considered the key elements for effective infection control which promotes patient confidence and demonstrates the existence of a positive safety culture.
“Should this draft version be approved and published this year, it would bring NHS recommendations for colour coding (within cleaning areas) in line with the BICSc ethos for best practice & standards.”
Of the employees trained so far, 95% have fed back to say that the training has made a difference to how they carry out their cleaning.
The training is compliant with both PAS 5748:2014 and reflect the draft ‘NHS National standards of healthcare cleanliness 2020’ which are to be adopted formally by the NHS. By being ahead on this, 2gether is demonstrating best practice across the healthcare industry.