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Coronavirus: The cleaners tasked with killing off the virus in hospitals | UK News

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As the coronavirus pandemic in the UK magnifies our hospitals are becoming inundated with patients.

The virus on isolation wards and intensive care units across the country is incredibly prominent and there is one group of people tasked to kill it.

Hospital trusts across the country have drafted in more cleaning staff to tackle this pandemic. There are now more cleaners working in our hospitals than ever before and their role has never been so important.

Milton Keynes University Hospital has been hit hard by coronavirus – patients here are dying.

Sky News was invited in to get a first-hand account of how the cleaning teams are working flat out to help the medics save as many lives as possible.

The cleaners are an integral part of this hospital’s assault on COVID-19. The invisible killer lurks everywhere, which means cleaning staff are putting their own lives on the line.

Milton Keynes University Hospital - Rita
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Rita O’Brian has come out of retirement to help in the battle against COVID-19

Rita O’Brian, 67, has come out of retirement to be on the frontline in the battle against the virus.

“I’ve never seen anything like this before,” she said.

“We’re used to infections and having to clean up after that, but this is an eye-opener really.”

She added: “It’s such a high risk for me, especially because of my age as well. But I’m here to look after the patients. I’ll carry on working until I can carry on working, to look after the patients. Just like all the staff – we’ve all got to pull together.”



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Rita realises the risk she is taking. “If I get it, I get it,” she said. “I’m here to help the NHS. If you don’t get the cleaning done, none of these hospitals would be open.

“I know I’m putting my life on the line, but I have to.”

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Milton Keynes University Hospital has upped the number of cleaners it has since the COVID-19 crisis in the UK began.

Overnight now they deep clean the hospital while daytime staff are working round the clock to kill any traces of the virus.







How cleaners are keeping coronavirus under control

Another cleaner, Thamie Munro, told Sky News that she and her colleagues were “under a lot of pressure”.

She added: “Everyone is worried but you have to do what we have to do. We work in a hospital, this is our job and our main priority is keeping the patients safe.

“I’ve got kids, I’ve got parents who are in their 70s, so it’s a worry every day that we’re coming to work where patients are positive and dying because of coronavirus. I just try not to think too much about it to be honest.”







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She continued: “We’ve had the training and we have the PPE. We just have to try and treat it as another day job. But obviously we have to take caution and make sure that everyone around us knows exactly what they’re doing. It’s scary for us to be fair.”

A nurse stopped to speak to us and had nothing but praise for the cleaners, saying they are the “most important people at the moment, doing more than anybody to try and eradicate this virus”.



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Professor Joe Harrison, chief executive of Milton Keynes University Hospital, said: “It’s really important that all our staff are prepared for what we know is going to come and that we are carrying out infection prevention and control measured through our cleaners and all our staff.

“What we know is that our cleaners may have some exposure to the coronavirus, (and) we need to make sure all of our staff are kept safe and by doing that we can make sure that we are in a position to look after our patients in the most appropriate way.”

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