Skip to main content

NHS: Buildings

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 96747, tabled on 4 January 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what progress he is making on improving air extraction, air filtration and UV cleaning in NHS properties.

Answered on

1 March 2022

The ‘Health Technical memorandum - Specialised ventilation for healthcare buildings (HTM 03-01)’ was issued on 22 June 2021, which includes updates guidance on ventilation to manage infection risks and the technology available. The guidance is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/publication/specialised-ventilation-for-healthcare-buildings/

All trusts must have an Authorising Engineer (Ventilation) designated by the trust management to provide independent auditing and advice on ventilation systems, to review documentation on verification and validation and witness the process as necessary.

In April 2021, updated guidance on the cleaning of National Health Service facilities was provided in ‘National standards of healthcare cleanliness 2021’, which is available at the following link:

https://www.england.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/B0271-national-standards-of-healthcare-cleanliness-2021.pdf

While ultraviolet (UV) cleaning has been considered, it does not replace the need to physically clean the environment and therefore it has not been recommended instead of physical cleaning. In addition, it cannot be used in occupied rooms, therefore its applicability in an operational healthcare environment is challenging. However, we understand that some NHS trusts deploy UV cleaning based on local cleaning needs. As new research and technology becomes available, the NHS will update existing or provide additional guidance.