Comment: Sensible to bring it back to NHS control

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BRINGING hospital cleaners back under the control of health service managers is long overdue.

The cleanliness of wards is one of the major concerns of patients and their families, and it makes sense that the people who know best what is needed to tackle the risk of infections are in a position to call the shots.

The positive inspection reports scored by the Royal Infirmary in recent years shows that the hospital has a dedicated and professional cleaning staff.

The medics, though, should be in a position to show them just what needs to be done to reverse the worrying rise in MRSA case at the hospital this year.

The fact that it has taken so long to bring about the move – which is not yet completely guaranteed – is another damning indictment of the private finance deal under which the hospital was built 12 years ago.

We have long known that the PFI contract has provided poor value for money for the public purse and taken away control of many parts of hospital life from the NHS. This is just another example of just how flawed it really was – and how it continues to hold back improvements within the health service.

What we don’t know yet is the cost of getting out of the contract with the private company Cofely which currently provides cleaning services at Little France.

That is likely to see millions more of public money poured into their pockets simply to get out of a deal which should never have been struck.

That will be hard to take, but it is better than the alternative – forcing health service bosses to soldier on with effectively one arm tied behind their backs.

Medal marvels

Just when it seems that the best is over at the Commonwealth Games, along comes another rush of Scottish medal winners.

The great success of our athletes has helped make this a thrilling summer of sport and offered huge inspiration to the next generation of sporting youngsters.

And the best bit is that it is not over yet. Josh Taylor’s brilliant displays in the boxing mean that it is now only the colour of the medal that he will bring home to Prestonpans that is open to question.

So there’s only one thing left to say about the rest of the Games – bring it on.