The chief executive of a Midlands hospital where cleaning staff were exposed flouting basic hygiene rules is to reassess the firm's contract.
Dr Mark Goldman, who runs Birmingham's Heartlands Hospital, spoke out after last night's Panorama documentary where an undercover reporter revealed poor cleaning practices.
Shabnam Grewall spent two months working as a cleaner for Initial Hospital Services at the hospital, in Bordesley.
She found that some cleaners concentrated on making sure wards, isolation rooms and toilets were superficially clean rather than sticking to strict procedures - aimed to help cut infections like MRSA.
After watching the programme, Dr Goldman said the hospital's 6,000 staff would be "ashamed to think those sort of things were going on here."
He added: "I am going to have a lot of discussions with Initial about what I have seen tonight.
"If Initial cannot satisfy us that they can deliver an appropriately clean hospital, not just a clean hospital but an appropriately clean hospital, then we will have to seek to put that right and examine their contract.
"If they're not delivering that then they are not delivering on their contract and that becomes an impossible relationship and if necessary, we will have to end that relationship."
During March and April, Ms Grewal - who filmed her experiences using a tiny hidden camera - saw one worker, named only as Habib, drink from a glass and put it back in a cupboard, unwashed.
She constantly received conflicting instructions over what needed to be cleaned, what equipment to use and whether she needed to change her gloves or apron.
One colleague told her: "We do a lot of things here we're not supposed to."
Another Initial cleaner, Stephen, was repeatedly shown going in and out of 'barrier' rooms - where particularly vulnerable patients are put - without changing gloves, not changing buckets of water and not mopping or dusting areas if they appeared clean.
Both Stephen and Habib have been suspended by Initial and are currently the subjects of disciplinary procedures.
Dr Goldman, chief executive of Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust - which runs Heartlands Hospital - said he was surprised to see clinical staff implicated in the documentary.
"What was omitted from the rushes I saw was the footage of clinical staff, doctors and nurses, ignoring basic hygiene rules," he said. "We got a strong feeling some cleaners were wilfully cutting corners because they felt there weren't enough hours in the day.
"The hours are not set by the trust, in fact they are set out due to an NHS 'opus' which details exactly what needs to be done, when and how."
Dr Goldman added: "I am annoyed and frustrated that we've worked so hard since a similar newspaper investigation last year, we've really driven the cleaning standards up and that has been rewarded by our improved MRSA figures.
"We've gone from being one of the worst in the country to becoming one of the best in the country. People who have watched this will be able to make their own minds up about hospital hygiene. However, I am only responsible for Heartlands - not every hospital in Britain - and that's where I'm going to put things right."
The hospital reduced cases of MRSA by 37. The number of cases fell from 106 in 2003/4 to 69 in 2004/5.
As well as introducing a raft of new measures, such as trialling a new two-hour swab test, the trust spends £3.6 million a year on cleaning services at Heartlands.
Mike Jepson, managing director of Initial Hospital Services, defended his staff.
He said: "I am absolutely convinced that the majority of our staff have provided excellent service to the hospital and helping to reduce the level of MRSA.
"The vast majority of staff have had and understood the training programme but it appears there are a few who do not follow the correct procedures."
But Dr Goldman has now put hospital hygiene and cleanliness at the top of the trust's 'to do list.
He said: "I have asked the medical director and infection control director to bring to me what they think they need to make this hospital safe from an infection control point of view.
"When this comes to the board, as it will, it will be the number one priority facing this trust."