Archive of European Projects

Cleaning in Healthcare (CIH): Upgrading cooperation, professional standards, and learning
Start date: 01 Sep 2014, End date: 31 Aug 2016 PROJECT  FINISHED 

According to EU OSHA, there are over 3,6 million employed in cleaning in Europe. Added to the common hazards faced by cleaners (noise, vibration, slipping, musculoskeletal disorders, stress from long working hours) cleaners in healthcare facilities face additional hazards. There is possible exposure to micro-organisms, blood-borne pathogens, contact with animals and their waste, and infections from Salmonella or Campylobacter. Evidence given by the European Agency for Safety and Health shows an increase of infection from Noroviruses among cleaning staff and spreading of hospital inflicted diseases for lack of proper standardized training and risk awareness. The Cleaning in Healthcare Project (CIH) forms a consortium of 9 full partners: three (3) vocational schools; two (2 ) education formation and management authorities; three (3) hospitals, and two (2) cleaning companies together with two associate partners joining together for a 24 month process of upgrading stakeholder cooperation, professional standards, and qualifications in healthcare cleaning. All stakeholders of the CIH Project aim to insure highly qualified cleaning workers, a concerted effort on behalf of the healthcare community. Implementation of this project will make work safer for cleaners, colleagues and patients; create a higher regard and respect for proper hospital cleaning and attractiveness as vocation. Through implementation in national curricula this project produces a better foundation and secure development for the years to come. Efficient and effective cleaning saves money at any hospital - money that can be used for better treatment and curing of ailments. The heavy focus on updating and development via strong stakeholder cooperation will help to prepare cleaning for future ordeals such as medicine immunity and animal born micro organisms. Applying a process-learning approach, this project combines preparatory research, work sessions for in-depth discussions between stakeholders, drawing conclusions, and making expert recommendations. Topics examined include: 1. Comparing professional standards and training for VET in relation to stakeholder needs and expectations; and 2. Developing cooperation and exploring ICT pathways: VET, healthcare and cleaning industry. We strive to upgrade training standards and find clear paths for partnership within the industry for continual advancement and improvement within a rapidly changing health environment. The output of partner meetings will be a mapping of competencies in hospital cleaning and a mapping template applicable to other fields. This process inspects the required competencies of hospital cleaning staff in relation to hospitals' need to prevent spreading and contagion of diseases. Mapping results will feed into the final output of developing a Competency Framework specific to cleaning in healthcare. Other outputs are the development of a recommended European Professional Standard for Cleaning in Healthcare based upon research and mapping results. This has strong utility under the ECVET system for mobility in healthcare cleaning between consortium partners. This European Professional Standard will be proposed to the Estonian Ministry of Education and Sciences as nation's first Professional Standard for Cleaning in Healthcare together with a new State curriculum developed by Järva County Vocational Training Centre in time to launch the new training program based on our best practices by September 2016.
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