Cleaning & Maintenance Management Online

Opinion: Outsourcing led to deaths of patients

April 30, 2010
VANCOUVER — While many reasons have been given for the death of nine elderly patients at the Glengarry Memorial Hospital and the critical condition 11 others are in, the level of cleanliness from the quality of work performed by custodians has not been mentioned, according to the Times Colonist.
In 2002, the Vancouver Island Health Authority (VIHA) outsourced its housekeeping services to the Compass Group Inc. and fired its in-house personnel, the story stated.
According to the story, the individuals who worked in the hospital for years and knew the ins and outs of the building were replaced with underpaid and untrained workers who were given very difficult workloads.
Elderly patients are generally more vulnerable to poor housekeeping standards than are younger patients and outbreaks and quarantines are common when the quality of cleaning drops, the story noted.
While the Vancouver provincial government mandated that all VIHA facilities privatize their housekeeping to save time and money, any monetary and efficiency gains could be outshadowed by a perceived lower level of cleanliness.
Click here to read the complete article.