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Hospital Interior

Are Hospital Surfaces Really Clean?

A recent study reveals that despite strict adherence to recommended disinfection protocols in hospitals, microbial contamination persists on high-touch surfaces.

Conducted by researchers at the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System, the study involved sampling 400 high-touch surfaces, such as workstations, breakroom tables, bed rails, resuscitation training dummies, and computer keyboards at nurse’s stations.

The analysis uncovered a total of 60 different types of bacteria across all samples, including Enterococcus, Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus, Escherichia coli, and Klebsiella aerogenes.

Remarkably, all 400 surfaces examined harbored bacteria, with the highest diversity found on the resuscitation dummies and bed rails. Additionally, approximately half of the identified bacteria were also detected in clinical samples obtained from patients.

Piyali Chatterjee, a research scientist at the Central Texas Veterans Healthcare System and the senior author of the study, expressed frustration over the persistence of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) despite rigorous disinfection efforts.

Piyali stated “Our study clearly shows the bioburden associated with high-touch hospital surfaces and indicates that we must do better in protecting the health of our patients and hospital employees.”

Published in the American Journal of Infection Control, the study underscores the necessity for innovative disinfection strategies to combat microbial contamination effectively.

Tania Bubb, president of the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, highlighted the importance of addressing the shortcomings in current disinfection practices. She stressed the significance of developing more effective protocols and educational initiatives to mitigate the spread of harmful organisms and safeguard individuals from HAIs.

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Robotic vacuum cleaner

Flooring that Shines

Flooring that Shines

Maintaining clean floors is a crucial aspect of any cleaning routine, with floors facing significant wear and tear from foot traffic, wheeled equipment, and spills. The challenges of floor cleaning and ways to lighten the workload for cleaners are explored in discussions with various companies.

Unlike other surfaces primarily soiled by dust and fingerprints, floors in public spaces endure constant contact with dirty shoes, leaving behind marks, grooves, and potential hazards. This makes floor maintenance a substantial part of cleaning routines, but the time it consumes varies depending on the environment. Christian Mrowka, Kärcher’s floorcare product manager, notes that floor cleaning in spaces like logistics warehouses may take a whole day, while offices might allocate around 50% of a cleaner’s time due to additional tasks like cleaning desks and glass surfaces.

Effective floor cleaning is pivotal for enhancing air quality in dusty environments, thereby ensuring a safer workplace for employees. Studies indicate that bacteria present on the floor can become airborne, posing a risk of contaminating hands, surfaces, or being inhaled or swallowed. Consistent cleaning practices significantly contribute to maintaining a low level of contamination.

A well-maintained floor not only fosters cleanliness but also positively impacts employee morale and productivity, as emphasised by Mrowka. In settings like warehouses, where forklifts navigate around spills and debris, productivity may suffer. The presence of obstacles, such as rubbish, increases the risk of accidents when machines need to manoeuvre. Therefore, a clean floor plays a vital role in promoting a safe and efficient working environment.

The time needed for floor cleaning varies based on several factors, including the facility’s type and size, the flooring type, the level of traffic, and the cleaning frequency. In areas with high traffic, such as hallways, entrances, reception areas, and washrooms, the task becomes notably time-consuming to ensure both cleanliness and safety.

The advent of user-friendly scrubber dryers has proven beneficial, and the increased prevalence of autonomous floor cleaning robots adds even more flexibility to the cleaning process.

These innovations serve to reduce the time dedicated to floor cleaning, allowing employees to focus on more intricate tasks, notes Mrowka. Furthermore, these automated systems offer the advantage of night-time cleaning without requiring staff presence. Additionally, digital systems contribute by recording and monitoring the quality of cleaning performance.

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Christmas presents under the tree

Christmas Opening Times 2023

Christmas Opening Times 2023

As the festive season approaches, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude for your continued support throughout the year.

Over the festive period, we will be closed on on the following dates:

  • Christmas Day (Monday 25th December)
  • Boxing Day (Tuesday 26th December)
  • New Year’s Day (Monday 1st January)

During these special moments, our team will be taking the time to enjoy the festivities and recharge for the upcoming year.

We appreciate your understanding and look forward to serving you with renewed energy and commitment when we reopen. Wishing you a joyous holiday season filled with happiness and prosperity.

Best regards,

The Spectrum Team

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Modern washroom with light colours

The Challenge of Washrooms at Christmas

The Challenge of Washrooms at Christmas

With the holiday season approaching, individuals worldwide are gearing up for Christmas celebrations, social gatherings, and reunions with friends and family. Unfortunately, this festive period also coincides with the heightened risk of colds, the flu, and the emergence of new COVID variants. Lee Radzki from Essity, the manufacturer of Tork products, emphasises the importance of minimising cross-contamination in public restrooms during the winter holidays.

This Christmas season holds significant stakes as everyone aims to maintain good health to fully enjoy the holiday break with loved ones. The vivid memories of the challenges faced in 2020 serve as a reminder of how disheartening it can be when Christmas plans are abruptly cancelled, whether due to widespread restrictions or a family member falling ill.

With the ongoing emergence of new COVID-19 variants and the onset of the flu season, concerns about falling ill are entirely justified. However, completely eliminating these risks is a tall order, short of isolating oneself at home throughout the Christmas period.

Nonetheless, there are specific measures that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of contracting infections or viruses. Handwashing has been recognised as a highly effective means of reducing the risk of various illnesses. At home, most of us have easy access to running water, soap, and towels, making handwashing a straightforward practice.

The scenario differs in public places like restaurants, pubs, and hotels. Festive celebrations often involve increased alcohol consumption, resulting in more frequent restroom visits and overcrowded facilities. It’s challenging to maintain physical distance in busy restrooms, making infection risk higher. Additionally, people are less likely to practice thorough hand hygiene when they must endure long restroom queues.

When restrooms in venues become crowded, cleaning teams face added pressure. They are tasked with thorough cleaning to minimise cross-contamination, but achieving this in a bustling restroom where space is at a premium can be challenging. The constant need to replenish soap and paper supplies exacerbates congestion and poses difficulties for staff to stay on top of refilling tasks.

Similarly, in retail centres, stores experience high foot traffic during the Christmas season, further straining restroom facilities. Staff must efficiently maintain the restrooms to prevent disruptions and bottlenecks.

Ensuring a steady supply of soap and paper during the busy Christmas period is essential to prevent run-outs. For example, the Tork SmartOne toilet paper system dispenses a single sheet at a time, reducing consumption by up to 40%, which in turn reduces the need for frequent maintenance checks. In bustling restrooms, soap systems should be user-friendly, quick to refill, and resistant to running out.

Addressing restroom congestion is one way to reduce the risk of illness during the festive season, but other measures can enhance restroom safety. Proper ventilation with fans, open windows where possible, and partitioned outer doors can help maintain good airflow. Strategically placed signs and posters can remind people of the importance of hand hygiene and the risks of touching contaminated surfaces. Hand sanitiser dispensers should be easily accessible and consistently replenished to complement handwashing facilities.

While the risk of falling ill over Christmas is a concern, public restrooms can mitigate cross-contamination risks by promoting good hand hygiene, managing crowds effectively, and ensuring a consistent supply of soap and paper products.

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Planet Earth wearing a mask

COVID is on the Rise, Again!

COVID is on the Rise, Again!

The research, spearheaded by Imperial College London, marks the inaugural connection between the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on individuals’ hands and frequently touched surfaces, and the subsequent risk of infection among close contacts. These findings underscore the importance of implementing effective measures when someone is infected. Specifically, they advocate for practices such as frequent hand-washing, regular disinfection of commonly touched surfaces, maintaining physical distance, and the use of masks as essential strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Mono Lisa wearing a face masked with masking crowd viewing image

Professor Ajit Lalvani, author of the study, said “Our real-life study in London households provides the first empirical evidence to show that the presence of SARS-CoV-2 on people’s hands and surfaces contributes significantly to spread of COVID-19. Since we didn’t systematically sample household air, we cannot rule out airborne transmission occurring in parallel.”


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Spectrum Does Strictly

Spectrum Does Strictly

Spectrum Does Strictly

Get ready to cha-cha for a heartwarming cause, as Spectrum’s dynamic duo, Jo and Matt, shimmy their way onto the dazzling stage of “Strictly Come Dancing”! With less than a fortnight to go, the excitement is palpable as ten dazzling couples prepare to sashay and twirl at the magnificent Scarborough Spa.

Spectrum Does Strictly

The stage is set, the costumes are bedazzled, and the dance floor awaits their every move. It’s not just a dance competition; it’s a passionate endeavor to support St. Catherine’s Hospice. As the countdown begins, the sparkling promise of an unforgettable evening filled with glitz, glamour, and most importantly, boundless generosity, lights up the town.

So mark your calendars for an enchanting night where the rhythm of the dance joins hands with the rhythm of compassion, all in the name of a truly deserving cause.

You can purchase your tickets online for just £10 each – but be quick!

📆 Saturday 2nd September
📍 Scarborough Spa

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Kilimanjaro Virtual Climb

Kilimanjaro Virtual Climb

This week we embarked on our virtual climb of Kilimanjaro, all in the name of supporting the Urgent & Emergency Care Appeal Scarborough. Your sponsorship has the power to contribute towards enhancing healthcare facilities beyond the scope of the NHS. Your valuable assistance can help the Urgent & Emergency Care Appeal secure the additional resources needed to make a significant difference in patient care.

In our endeavor to conquer the summit, we have chosen to employ a cross trainer as our means of ascent. Throughout the week, our dedicated staff members will take turns, each completing their respective sections of the climb. By utilizing the cross trainer, we can replicate the physical challenges and rigor of the journey, symbolizing our collective effort to raise funds for our cause. Join us in this inspiring feat as we come together, step by step, to make a positive impact and reach new heights.

Together, let’s make a lasting impact by funding the extras that can transform healthcare facilities and improve the overall well-being of patients. Your sponsorship in this virtual climb enables us to provide the necessary enhancements that go beyond the standard healthcare provisions. By joining forces, we can create a healthcare experience that surpasses expectations, ensuring patients receive the exceptional care they deserve. Join us on this journey and let’s work together to make a positive difference in the lives of those in need.

Donate now

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Cleaning a ceramic sink

The Costly Consequences of Unpleasant and Unhygienic Washrooms

The Costly Consequences of Unpleasant and Unhygienic Washrooms

Recent research indicates that British businesses face significant consequences when their washrooms are smelly and unclean, as negative reviews can cause a considerable drop in Tripadvisor ratings for hospitality establishments, averaging one full star.

Analyzing over 80,000 Tripadvisor reviews of 200 hospitality venues across the UK, the survey discovered that 92% of respondents have encountered unpleasant odors in public washrooms, with 78% expressing that this would discourage them from revisiting the same place. On the other hand, 76% revealed that a positive washroom experience would increase their likelihood of spending money at a business.

The primary factors leading people to avoid public washrooms were perceived uncleanliness and dirty toilets (68%), unpleasant smells (62%), the presence of human waste on the floor (52%), wet floors (47%), and a lack of soap (41%).

When asked to identify the types of businesses that generally offer the highest-quality public washroom facilities, hotel accommodations ranked the highest (47%), followed by banks and estate agents (9%). High street restaurants (30%), local pubs (23%), and bars (20%) were found to be lagging behind in this aspect.

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COVID 19 Reopen

Are You Getting Ready to Reopen Your Business Post-Coronavirus?

Are You Ready to Reopen Your Business Post-Coronavirus?

Since mid-March when the Government ordered non-essential business to close their doors due to the growing risk of Coronavirus (COVID-19), the world seems have become a very different place. As consumers and business-owners, we have got used to long queues and takeaway-only services, staff wearing PPE and signage telling us where to stand and which direction to move around the supermarket. For some people (for example those who are shielding) who may have stayed indoors completely, those first tentative steps outside will come very soon.

With the risk level across the UK recently being downgraded and the Government’s announcement regarding easing restrictions, we are all looking forward to the world starting to return to normal. Businesses such as restaurants, pubs, cinemas and hair salons will be allowed to open their doors to the paying public on 4th July, all provided they are COVID-secure. If your business is due to reopen, are you ready? 

COVID 19 Reopen

What does COVID-secure mean?

Being COVID-secure includes several steps to minimise the risk of Coronavirus spreading in your premises. Not only must you make sure you are following the published Government guidance, but you also need to carry out thorough risk assessments specific to your business and then put all necessary control measures in place. This will include cleaning measures, PPE requirements and logistical measures such as how many people you’ll be able to welcome into your premises while adhering to social distancing. 

We understand that it can seem like an overwhelming task and that you may be nervous about what the future of your business looks like, so we wanted to help. As a part of the Scarborough community for more than 20 years, here at Spectrum we feel passionate about helping businesses get back on their feet and kick-starting the local economy as soon as possible.

Introducing Spectrum – Back to Business

We’ve been putting together a series of guides and documents which are completely free to use and will help you and your business get set up for success over the coming weeks. From printable awareness posters to risk assessment templates, product recommendations to cleaning procedures and checklists, you can get ahead and start planning everything you need to welcome your customers back.

Whether you’re due to open on 4th July, you’ve already been operating with limited services, or you have to wait a bit longer to see your customers again, it’s crucial that you spend some time assessing how ready your business is. Your staff will want to know what their safety is being considered, as will your customers. 

How Do I Access these Resources?​

To make a started getting back to business, you can view all of our COVID-19 resources by clicking here. Anyone can access and use these documents, for free! 

If you are a customer with a My Spectrum account, simply log in and you will see they have been added to your documents. 

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Pro Mist Mopping System

New Innovation Mop System Now Available

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Introducing the latest in flat mopping technology, the Pro-Mist Mop System is more than just a mop. Featuring a removable bottle and a trigger spray at the top of the handle, the innovative mopping system sprays a fine mist of water directly onto the floor – no chemical or bucket is required.

The antibacterial microfibre mop pad easily removes dirt, quickly leaving your floors clean and dry. The system also includes an easy release break frame, allowing the flat mop pads to be easily removed without the need to touch the soiled item.

What’s in the kit?

The antibacterial kit features the Pro-Mist handle, Uniko break-frame, along with a blue, washable antibacterial microfibre mop.

User instructions

Remove the Pro-Mist bottle and fill with water and/or cleaning agent, then reattach. Squeeze the trigger to spray a fine mist onto the surface to be cleaned. Mop in a figure of eight motion while holding onto the ergonomically rotating cap at the top of the handle.

New mop heads can easily be attached to the frame by releasing the break-frame, inserting either end into the pockets and push to lock in place.

If you’d like to order this innovative new mopping system, you can do so by calling us on 01723 373509.

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