Establishing an effective cleaning process to manage infection control has been a priority for Cleaning Services.
In March 2020, the majority of the campus and associated buildings were closed because of the country’s first national lockdown. Whilst the campus was still and quiet, the Cleaning Service team, behind the scenes, were busy as bees using Microsoft Teams as a virtual hive.
The whole team came together to understand Covid 19 19 Public Health guidance, infection control industry best practice, risk management and to develop a cleaning plan to support the safe re-opening of campus. Throughout, the team were committed to ensuring all customers were confident with the processes in place and felt reassured that a high standard and consistent approach to cleaning and hygiene was being delivered.
The starting point was to attend an infection control training session delivered by the British Institute of Cleaning Services. The session gave valuable insight into understanding the nature of how viruses and bacteria can spread, the methodologies, equipment and materials to tackle them, and understanding the safe methods of work and personal protective equipment that would be integral to maintaining staff safety and confidence.
One of the key drivers in the re-entry cleaning process was to ensure a consistent standard was adopted campus-wide to encourage a culture of “everyone taking personal responsibility”. This applied to cleaning specification and service level agreements in addition to the provision of hand hygiene products and cleaning materials. Successful implementation was achieved through detailed risk assessment and seeking endorsement of approach by the University’s Campus Re-entry Executive Group.
To support the delivery of a new and enhanced cleaning service level agreement all staff were retrained in cleaning practice designed to reduce the risk of transmission. This involved regular cleaning and sanitising of touch points and shared areas such as offices, teaching spaces and welfare facilities.
Without doubt, Cleaning Services have demonstrated exceptional commitment and flexibility through the pandemic period. The team have kept pace with an ever-changing re-opening plan, buildings that house critical research or operations needed to be serviced throughout and adapted to varying demands due to external and internal factors during the re-opening process.
An important goal for the Head of Service was to ensure that all Cleaning Services staff were confident to return to work and to reduce their concerns while ensuring that they felt fully supported. The positive attitude and behaviours staff demonstrated were overwhelming, with so many colleagues prepared to work longer hours or cover duties, not only to deliver what the University required, but to also support fellow colleagues who may have had to self-isolate, recover or shield. The team handled local complexities such as cleaning while maintaining a social distance and received some wonderful feedback to endorse the quality of the service they provided.
“The support offered by the cleaning team throughout the pandemic has been exemplary. Once initial lockdown restrictions ended and the programme of research re-entry began and cleaning services were instrumental in the ability of Faculties to commence critical research, teaching and onsite operations. The cleaning teams that support Geography, Food Science, SEE and Transport Studies all did an excellent job with the re-entry cleaning and continue to provide excellent critical support in keeping our occupied spaces open. The distribution team were flexible and quick to respond to provide initial supplies of products into schools at the drop of a hat and all of this has been expertly managed by Jill under what continues to be extreme circumstances.”
Earth and Environment
“I cannot praise the team enough for all the hard work they have done over the last 12 months, from initially making sure all the closed buildings had food and rubbish removed and keeping on top of the cleaning to getting the open buildings Covid 19 safe. The students had appreciated being able to use the open buildings and feel part of the home Faculty.”
Leeds University Business School
“Cleaning Services have been such an important and critical support service during the Covid 19 pandemic. Their willingness and commitment to be agile and responsive to any issue has played a huge part in the success of the University’s approach to the risks of Covid 19. This has involved sourcing and installing hand sanitiser points, adding extra cleaning materials in all areas of the campus as well as enhanced cleaning, increased frequencies all while the cleaning staff have had to deal and manage with the pandemic personally.
The efforts of all our cleaning staff in managing the fast-changing processes while still maintaining the positive approach to their work has been a real asset to the University during a difficult time. Their hard work and commitment is a fundamental part of the Universities approach to keeping staff and students safe.”
Director of Health and Safety