GMB claims government cuts left NHS cleaning services ‘woefully underprepared’ for Covid


GMB, the union for NHS workers, has called for urgent investment in cleaning services as the 2019/20 ERIC data reveals the full-time equivalent of almost 1,000 fewer cleaners are employed by the NHS - either directly or outsourced – than in 2010/11. 

The NHS also spent £38m less on cleaning services – a decrease of 3.4% - although this should be balanced against increasing efficiency and productivity gains as Trusts have focused on delivering Lord Carter’s PEP programme.

“The NHS couldn’t function without its cleaning staff. They have been saving lives, often at real personal risk, since day one of the pandemic. Our members tell us that they are overworked, underpaid, and denied access to the right PPE. Some cleaning workers are put under pressure to complete jobs without enough time or the right equipment,” says GMB National Officer, Rachel Harrison.

“As we enter a third lockdown, it is more important than ever that NHS cleaners receive the resources, pay and decent employment standards that they deserve.”


2019/20 ERIC data available here.

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