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Outsourcing cleaning services increases MRSA incidence: evidence from 126 English acute trusts

Toffolutti, Veronica, Reeves, Aaron, McKee, Martin and Stuckler, David (2017) Outsourcing cleaning services increases MRSA incidence: evidence from 126 English acute trusts. Social Science and Medicine, 174. pp. 64-69. ISSN 0277-9536

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.socscimed.2016.12.015

Abstract

There has been extensive outsourcing of hospital cleaning services in the NHS in England, in part because of the potential to reduce costs. Yet some argue that this leads to lower hygiene standards and more infections, such as MRSA and, perhaps because of this, the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Irish health services have rejected outsourcing. This study evaluates whether contracting out cleaning services in English acute hospital Trusts (legal authorities that run one or more hospitals) is associated with risks of hospital-borne MRSA infection and lower economic costs. By linking data on MRSA incidence per 100,000 hospital bed-days with surveys of cleanliness among patient and staff in 126 English acute hospital Trusts during 2010–2014, we find that outsourcing cleaning services was associated with greater incidence of MRSA, fewer cleaning staff per hospital bed, worse patient perceptions of cleanliness and staff perceptions of availability of handwashing facilities. However, outsourcing was also associated with lower economic costs (without accounting for additional costs associated with treatment of hospital acquired infections).

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/02779...
Additional Information: © 2016 The Authors © CC BY 4.0
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Sets: Research centres and groups > International Inequalities Institute
Date Deposited: 12 Jan 2017 16:37
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2019 01:41
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/68844

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