National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021

Technical standards and guidance (health building notes/health technical memoranda documents)

The documents have moved and can be accessed from this section of our website.

Standard Department of Health and Social Care website protocol is to mark documents as ‘withdrawn’ as part of the redirect to our website. We are aware that this message on the website is creating the impression that individual health building notes (HBN) and health technical memoranda (HTM) documents have been withdrawn. This is not the case – all the documents hosted on our website are current.

The status of a document can be checked on the complete list of publications related to NHS estates page of our website which includes details of any documents that have been updated/archived and the dates this took effect.

The hospital cleaning standards were last updated in 2007. The new 2021 cleaning standards encompass all cleaning tasks throughout the NHS regardless of which department is responsible for it. They are based around: being easy to use; freedom within a framework; fit for the future; efficacy of the cleaning process; cleanliness which provides assurance; and transparency of results.

The standards will now comprise 3 stages of audit: technical – checks and scores of cleanliness against safe standards; efficacy – checking the cleaning team at the point of service delivery; and external – providing quality assurance and validating both the technical and efficacy audits.

The guidance is further underpinned by an additional 2 functional risk categories which alongside the other 4 help to determine the frequency of cleans and audits which areas require. A change in approach will see the “percentage scoring” system which was not clear to patients/visitors, replaced with cleanliness ratings from zero – 5. A zero star rating equates to “urgent improvement necessary” while a 5 star rating confirms the cleanliness in the area concerned as “very good”.

In case of any queries please e-mail marking for the attention of Emma Brookes.