Effective arrangements should be in place to maintain appropriate standards of cleanliness and hygiene for the prevention, management and control of infection.
On visual inspection, the area should be clean and free from obvious odours and hazards; this should also include any equipment or furniture.
Appropriate information regarding infection control measures should be on display and visible to residents, staff and visitors; as examples, NHS hand washing information, antibacterial gel posters, or signs relating to the procedures should a staff or visitor be experiencing a chest infection or flu like symptoms.
Cleaning schedules should be in place and should identify daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and adhoc cleans. It is also important that cleaning schedules include communal areas as well as residents' rooms or functional areas such as laundry areas.
It is important to have cleaning schedules and records for equipment that aligns to the manufacturers guidelines.
It is also important to identify how frequently or in what circumstances deep cleans will be completed.
Colour coded cleaning equipment should be in use as per current guidelines in place.
Communal Bathrooms, Shower/Wet Rooms and Toilets
Infection control procedures should extend to communal and staff/visitor bathrooms, shower/wet rooms and toilets.
Appropriate bins should be in place and have a functioning lid and pedal operation; it is important that bins contain waste bags and are emptied regularly in line with waste disposal processes in place.
Liquid soap dispensers and paper towels should be in place and well maintained; it is understood that some residents prefer a hand towel and consideration should be given to infection prevention such as how frequently these should be changed.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Appropriate PPE should be readily available and accessible to staff. PPE should be worn, changed and disposed of appropriately.
Waste management processes should be in place and all staff should be aware of their responsibilities i.e. yellow bags for clinical waste, red bags for soiled laundry with clear guidelines for keeping soiled and clean laundry separate and black bags for general waste.
Training and Observation
All staff should receive training on infection prevention and health and safety/COSHH. Training should be from an accredited provider and refreshed regularly.
It is also advisable to consider observation of staff practices including hand hygiene, whether staff are dressed appropriately i.e. no loose clothing, jewellery, false nails/nail varnish and it is following best practice of bare below the elbows as examples.
Where staff are multi functioning it is imperative that there are processes in place for separate uniforms or outfits when changing between care tasks and kitchen duties as an example.
Regular auditing of the environment and infection control procedures should be completed to ensure appropriate standards of cleanliness and hygiene are being maintained. Where shortfalls are identified, there should be evidence of action plans or follow ups recorded. Auditing should incorporate observations of staff practices such as use of PPE and hand hygiene.
Infection Prevention and Control
Skills for Care - Infection Prevention and Control topics
Prevention and control of infection in care homes: an information resource and Prevention and control of infection in care homes: summary for staff
Last Updated: 31 October 2017