Ambulances may be spreading infections such as MRSA because they are not being cleaned properly, union leaders warn.
…At the other end of the scale London Ambulance Service has introduced on-site cleaners who work throughout the night to routinely deep clean the fleet. They also restock ambulances with fresh kit, freeing up paramedics for seeing patients. Effectively, crews bring in a dirty vehicle and leave with a cleaned one, Unison said.
It is pretty good in London to be completely honest. The 'Make-ready' crews do clean the ambulances and they do have an attempt at stocking the ambulances. Except when there isn't the spare kit on the station, in which case they don't run around to other stations to try and find the equipment, that's up to us.
We are also still supposed to check the ambulances, but this rarely happens (unless you come into work early) as our call rate is so high.
There are also random swabs of ambulances where we see if there is anything growing on an ambulance that shouldn't be there. So far the results have been very good.
It's especially good considering that the Make-ready people get paid minimum wage and work hours like 1am-5am.
Where it is somewhat let down is that due to the desire to have us rapidly 'turn around' at hospital, unless there is specific soiling of the ambulance (blood, vomit, or for me last night, large amounts of spittle) we don't have the time to clean down the trollies with detergent.
Nor do we have enough blankets to have each patient have their own separate one – again they only tend to get changed if there is visible soiling or if the patient is known to be carrying a communicable disease.
But on the whole I think that we do a pretty good job with the resources that we have – we could do better, but that would mean that the government would have to give us more money. Something that they are loathe to do.
5 thoughts on “Clean Ambulances”
radical idea for Funding, the government give you the same amount, but fuel pumps at the station are filled with fuel that is untaxed in any way no vat no fuel tax. and the saving is used fir other things in the service. (no not managers pay rises).
Great to hear that at least in London the ambulances are getting cleaner. Here's an idea that might improve things though. Have make ready crews at some of the busier A&Es. So while you guys take the patient in and do hand over etc… they wipe down the trolley, replace blankets, top up kit stocks, refill any thermos mugs in the cab ;)Sadly it means more money… but it would surely mean less time out of action at the end of a job and cleaner ambulances…
If you couyld have the money for ONE of the following, which would you choose?1. More, staffed, ambulances.
2. More resources for existing ambulances in the form of things such as blankets, spares etc
3. More pay
Obviously, it would be utterly marvelous if you chaps could get all three, rather than us pissing all the money up the wall on nuclear missiles, but hey, that's not the planet we live on. unfortunately. Come on! Make a totally artificial decision!
I am in theatre.We appreciate ambulance services and know you're under as much pressure as us re infection control
Don't ambulances get to steal the blankets from A&E anymore? I suppose they're not allowed to pay for your blankets to be laundered.I like bystanders idea tho – makes more sense to have the 'make read' crew at the hospital when you throw the patient out…err … hand over the patient.