A union organization says cuts to cleaning services can lead to a rise in hospital-acquired infections, according to an article on the Recorder website.

A study by the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions and Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE) completed in the fall of 2016, claims funding decreases are at the root of the problem and hospitals have been left without enough cleaning staff to keep bedrails, mattresses, blood pressure cuffs, taps and door handles bacteria free.

The study outlines a number of factors that contribute to what hospital unions call “preventable deaths” from infectious disease, including declining funding.

Other factors cited include high hospital-bed occupancy levels, overcrowding, increased antibiotic use and the privatization of cleaning staff.

In November 2016, CUPE surveyed hospital sector members on cuts to environmental cleaning and found 57 percent of the cleaning staff and 40 percent of managers surveyed believe hospitals are unsafe. As part of the study, hospital housekeeping staff revealed a “disturbing pattern” of needing to work at a faster rate and with less staff.

For more information about the study, click here.