Having resolved, at its biennial Congress held last February in Auckland, the World Federation of Building Service Contractors (WFBSC) has developed a scoping document ‘Cleaning for Health’. Among this initiative’s key objectives is ‘to ensure that the global healthcare industry remains focused on the importance of cleanliness in the fight against healthcare associated infections’.
“The Secretariat of the WFBSC was invited (at the Congress) to draw up a business plan and on the basis of that plan solicit funding from building service contractors, their associations, suppliers and clients to drive forwards the role of the cleaning industry in the promotion of public health,” noted Andrew Large, WFBSC executive vice president in a late March statement.
“This paper is the initial scoping document that outlines the key issues. It is designed to solicit funding from earlier adopters to pump prime the development and implementation of the wider business plan and its implementation,” he added.
The scoping document observes, ‘it is widely accepted that within healthcare settings, cleaning is an important aspect of the key task of infection control. However, in some countries, cleaning budgets are under threat and despite the recognition of the importance of eliminating healthcare associated infections, the rate of such infections remains stubbornly high.
‘Outside the healthcare environment, the position of cleaning and cleanliness is much less clear. While recent influenza outbreaks have brought some focus on hand hygiene and hand sanitisation gels, this has not yet led to a wider re-evaluation of the cleaning industry and its role in promoting a healthy and hygienic everyday environment.’
Other key WFBSC Cleaning for Health objectives include ensuring that the wider world of facility providers develops a focus on the importance of cleanliness in the provision of a healthy and hygienic environment for all facility users; providing resources for the global building service contracting industry to use to promote cleaning for health; and to see increased resources allocated by facility owners and managers in the above areas.
The business plan will encompass a number of key tasks, in the first instance recruiting staff resources into the WFBSC to lead the project. It is then proposed to establish a steering committee; gather existing data that shows the importance of cleaning for health outside the healthcare setting; and to source new research to fill gaps in the existing knowledge base.
Critically, data and research would then be published in a form that is accessible to BSCs and their clients. This should be in the form of a world standard, supported by the World Health Organisation. A website to bring together all advice on cleaning for health would be established and in turn that site would be promoted to BSCs and their clients across the globe.
The WFBSC’s collateral would support BSCs in their discussions with clients by providing evidence of the importance of cleaning for health. The Federation would also lobby global and national institutions on the importance of cleaning for health using data gathered.