The Times newspaper reports that Healthcare Commission inspectors have found that only one third of hospitals in England meet the top standard for cleanliness. Private hospitals, included in the survey for the first time, did better in general than NHS ones, but some private mental health hospitals were not so clean.
The report, published this month, reviewed 33 hospitals between July and September 2005. Inspectors visited hospitals without warning, choosing 61 NHS hospitals that had scored poorly in a patient survey, another 10 that had done well, and 28 randomly chosen private hospitals. They made a visual check of cleanliness in two wards, the outpatient department and the A&E department, and also asked questions about cleaning.
The report categorises hospitals into four bands, the best in band 1 and the worst in band 4. In Band 1, were 22 hospitals in the NHS and 11 in the private sector. Band 2 contained 43 hospitals, including four from the private sector. Band 3 contained 16 hospitals, seven from the private sector. Band 4 contained six hospitals, all of them NHS mental health and community hospitals.