As highlighted under the Health & Social Care Act 2008, the implementation of a stringent cleaning and hygiene policy minimises the risk of cross-contamination and infection.
So how do you go about defining and implementing an effective hygiene policy? And where are the hygiene hotspots where the chain of infection can be broken?
To help operators remain compliant with the Act, your cleaning and hygiene policy must include a clearly defined cleaning procedure and a well-thought-out cleaning routine.
At the heart of any routine should be rigorous procedures to address hygiene hotspots, including food preparation areas, sluice rooms, bathrooms and bedrooms.
However, you also need to devote attention to other, not so obvious hotspots where germs and bacteria accumulate. These include TV remote controls, particularly in a communal area, as well as door handles and light switches where bacteria can easily survive for up to 24 hours.
When reviewing or writing your cleaning policy, ensure that you make specific reference to laundry.
Bacteria rapidly builds up on bed linen and towels and increases significantly if a resident is ill.
In these circumstances, specialist laundry products should be used to help kill unwanted bacteria such as C.diff and MRSA.
The best cleaning policies include regular auditing, which in some cases can include inspections using UV technology.
This will verify that key standards and procedures are being developed and maintained. The process also ensures that your policy is applied consistently by everyone and it identifies areas where additional training or guidance is required.
Fundamentally, providing a fresh, clean environment is not only critical to infection control, also creates a homely and comfortable environment, for residents and visitors.
However, if you are ever in doubt about your cleaning plan then don’t leave it to chance, speak to a cleaning and hygiene specialist.
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This blog was adapted from a feature published in Tomorrow's Care. You can read the full article at the link below: