Western Trust staff clean up at awards ceremony


Western Trust staff clean up at awards ceremony

The Western Health and Social Care Trust (Western Trust) has swept the boards at a major awards ceremony recognising excellence in cleaning in health trust facilities.


The Western Trust scooped honours in two of nine categories at the British Institute of Cleaning Sciences (BICSc) 50th anniversary awards ceremony which attracted entrants from across the United Kingdom and Ireland.


Gina Theobald, a Support Services Assistant in Altnagelvin Hospital, and Sandra Hamilton, a Domestic Supervisor in Tyrone County Hospital, accepted the awards on behalf of the Western Trust at the celebration event in Birmingham on Thursday night (September 22).


Since the BICSc Cleaning Operators Proficiency Certificate programme was introduced to the Western Trust in November 2009, more than 300 Support Services staff have undertaken the training across the Trust.


As a BICSc Accredited Training Organisation the Western Trust picked up the BICSc Award for Excellence in Training and Assessment.


The Trust also won the Doreen Heyes Award in recognition for the uptake and promotion of the BICSc healthcare professionals certification scheme.


Health Minister Edwin Poots offered his congratulations on the awards, saying: "This is excellent news and is testimony of the commitment of the Western Trust to raising hospital cleanliness standards, and also of the hard work and dedication of the staff, who have quite rightly been recognised for their excellence.


"We have a duty to patients to try to eliminate preventable infections in our hospitals and it is essential that the public have confidence in our healthcare facilities. People who use health services in the Western Trust area should take great reassurance from these accolades."


Western Trust Chief Executive Elaine Way said: "The success at the awards is recognition of the vital role of Support Services staff in healthcare. It is also an endorsement of the Trust's ongoing commitment to raising standards of cleaning through education.


"Support Services staff can be justifiably proud of the success in the BICSc Awards. The Western Trust would not be celebrating these achievements without the commitment of the Support Services team who set up the training programme and the hard work of staff like Sandra and Gina who have successfully completed the Cleaning Operators Proficiency Certificate.


"These successes in the BICSc Awards reinforce our commitment to raising standards of cleaning in healthcare facilities, instilling confidence in the public who use our services."


Career profile and comment from staff who accepted the awards Sandra Hamilton is a Domestic Supervisor based at the Tyrone County Hospital in Omagh. Sandra has been in her current role for two and half years and previously worked as a Domestic Assistant at the Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital for more than 12 years.


Sandra was one of the first staff members to take part in the British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) Cleaning Operators Proficiency Certificate training when it was introduced to the Western Trust in November 2009.


Speaking about her BICSc experience, Sandra said: “I currently manage a team of more than 50 domestic assistants. My job entails overseeing the cleaning of the hospital and ensuring BICSc standards are being applied and I regularly get directly involved with the cleaning.


“I did the BICSc training over two years ago and I found it an extremely beneficial programme. Staff who go through the training are educated on infection control and become more thorough with their cleaning practices. As the training is accredited and carries a recognised qualification it gives Support Services staff the added incentive to complete it and go through the assessment process.


“I am very pleased that we have been recognised for our hard work and continued effort and I am delighted to be accepting the award on behalf of my Support Services colleagues.”


BICSc AwardsGina Theobald is a Support Services Assistant based in Ward Seven, General Surgery, in Altnagelvin Hospital. Gina has worked in the hospital for the past 10 years.


Her role is varied and includes catering and cleaning responsibilities. Gina completed her British Institute of Cleaning Science (BICSc) Cleaning Operators Proficiency Certificate training this year and believes it has changed her approach to cleaning not only at work but also at home.

Gina said: “The training has opened my eyes to the various cleaning practices needed to maintain a clean environment for our patients. The standard of BICSc is very high so I am confident when I am carrying out my daily cleaning routine that I am playing my part in helping to fight the risk of infection at Altnagelvin.


“It is essential when working on a ward such as surgery that our cleaning practices are of the highest possible standards. To receive these BICSs awards confirms we are doing our best for our patients.”