22 October 2004
England's new chief nurse has called on matrons to lead the battle against dirty hospitals and the MRSA superbug.
In her first act in her new job, chief nursing officer Chris Beasley this week launched a Matron's Charter, describing how the senior nurses would set standards for cleaner wards.
Matrons will be involved in drawing up cleaning contracts and will withhold payments for poor service. They will ensure there are clear cleaning protocols and that cleaning staff feel part of the infection control team, she said.
'Matrons must lead by example and by making changes when things aren't up to scratch.'
Unison welcomed the charter. But head of nursing Gail Adams said: 'Unison will be arguing that taking contracts back in house is the best way to make cleaning staff accountable and feel part of the NHS team, not simply making sure they are invited to the Christmas party.'
Beverly Malone, general secretary of the Royal College of Nursing, said the charter was a good 'starting point'.