An exploratory study into the factors that influence patients' perceptions of cleanliness in an acute NHS trust hospital

WHITEHEAD, H., MAY, D. and AGAHI, H. (2007). An exploratory study into the factors that influence patients' perceptions of cleanliness in an acute NHS trust hospital. Journal of facilities management, 5 (4), 275-289.


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Purpose – If NHS hospitals wish to influence patients to choose them and, as the literature review suggests, cleanliness will be a key-influencing factor in making that choice, it would seem important for hospitals to understand what factors lead people to decide whether a hospital is clean or dirty. The research aims to identify what the key factors are that influence patients' perceptions of cleanliness and to rank these factors in order of importance. Design/methodology/approach – The project utilised a mixed methodology to collect the data. The hospital staff and people who had been recent patients took part in focus groups in order to gather their views. The current hospital in-patients were surveyed through the use of a paper questionnaire. Findings – The main themes that influence the perceptions of cleanliness emerging from the analysis can be summarised under three broad headings – appearance of the environment, physical cleanliness and staff behaviour. The findings suggest that this subject is much more complex than the production of a list. The appearance of the environment is a complex set of perceptions based on what individuals believe to be important, what they observe and what they expect. The research suggests that the appearance of the environment is the most important factor. Originality/value – The paper starts to explore the factors that influence patient perception of cleanliness and provides practical information to NHS estates and facilities managers.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published in Journal of facilities management, 2007, 5(4), 275-289.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Cleaning, facilities, hygiene, National Health Services, patients
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Service Sector Management
Identification Number:
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2008
Last Modified: 11 May 2018 18:45

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