It’s a joke Helen Leighton has heard several times in her 19 years working as a cleaner at Western Health: “You are going to scrub the paint away”.
“I’ve always said if you’ve got a job to do, you should do it well," Helen says. "We are in a hospital, so it should always be done well."
Helen and her colleague Gorica Kulukovska, who both work at Sunshine Hospital, have become accustomed to extra duties during the COVID-19 pandemic, including paying extra attention to “touch points” such as door handles and taps. Hygiene screens, which are now used across Western Health sites, need to be cleaned several times a day. Dozens of hand sanitisers need to be refilled regularly.
And even more additional cleaning is necessary in areas where COVID-positive staff or patients may have been present.“It is busier during COVID, but that doesn’t bother me because I like everything to be very clean,” Helen says.Christine Neumann, Divisional Director Health Support Services, says Western Health’s cleaners are the “silent heroes”.They play a very important role in infection control across the sites.
“While Western Health cleaners have always delivered their service with a single focus of protecting our patients from the spread of infection, this workforce has taken in their stride the increased frequency of cleaning – particularly of high touch areas,” Christine says.
“Our team takes such pride in the service they provide and come to work each day to ensure that everyone has the cleanest, safest environment to work within.
“To our cleaners – you are the amazing and often silent heroes who work so very, very hard in the background to support the Western Health community. Thank you!”