Your reputation is your livelihood.
For care home managers, CQC inspections have the potential to make or break your hard-earned credibility within the industry and local area. Getting a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ CQC rating is absolutely imperative and, as a result, you must be ready to impress the inspectors at any time.
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a change in CQC inspections.
Infection control has always been pivotal to care home operations. The pandemic will have put your infection control procedures to the ultimate test, with the health and wellbeing of your residents and staff on a constant knife-edge.
As a responsible care home owner, you will be doing everything you can to prevent the spread of dangerous HCAIs. When the CQC inspectors come to visit, they will want to see clear evidence of this effort and will use the latest infection control criteria to assist with their overall judgement.
To quote the CQC:
“Our inspectors use these questions and prompts to look at how well staff and people living in care homes are protected by infection prevention and control (IPC).”
Did you know that your care home could be rated as inadequate due to your sluice room procedures?
You are unlikely to achieve a good or outstanding CQC rating for infection control if you are not following best practice.
The CQC ask as part of their Infection Control criteria:
“Do staff training, practices and deployment show the service can prevent transmission of infection and/or manage outbreaks?”
They also specify that:
“Waste management good practice guidance is followed”.
Although this question may initially seem quite broad, the CQC use specific guidance to ascertain what ‘good’ infection control management looks like. This involves close reference to Technical Healthcare Memorandums (HTMs) to steer decision-making.
For infection control inspections, the sluice room is of keen interest. The safe disposal of waste is essential to stem the spread of HCAIs and, as a result, CQC inspectors will expect to see tightly controlled procedures that are habitually actioned by your care team.
If you are not adhering to sluice room best practice, your care home could find itself with an ‘inadequate’ rating. To avoid this, you should familiarise yourself with HTM0101, This is the Health Technical Memorandum on the management and decontamination of surgical instruments (medical devices) used in acute care.
In this memorandum, the best practice for disinfection or disposal of bedpans is detailed:
“Dispose of single-use items in a macerator. If reusable, heat disinfection in bedpan washer–disinfector (e.g. 80°C for 1 minute). Store dry.”
If you’re currently washing re-usable bedpans by hand or disposing of pulp utensils in the bin, this should set alarm bells ringing.
You can’t expect to have a ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ rating for infection control if you aren’t using a washer-disinfector or pulp macerator to dispose of waste. There is simply no suitable alternative.
When washing bedpans by hand, you will:
- Risk the health of clinicians by putting them in direct physical contact with waste
- Aerosolise the microbes contained in the waste
- Contaminate surrounding surfaces
- Inefficiently clean bedpans due to insufficient temperature control.
If you’re using pulp bedpans and putting them in a bin, the risks are just as high. You will be:
- Exposing clinicians to waste for longer than necessary
- Releasing dangerous microbes in the air, every time a bin lid is opened
- Risking that waste bags will split when moved, contaminating the area
- Increasing touch points where bacteria can spread
- Creating an unpleasant working and living environment where bad smells are rife.
If you aren’t using pulp macerators or washer-disinfectors in your sluice room (or your clinicians sometimes use alternative methods), you need to make urgent changes. It isn’t worth the risk to health, wellbeing, or your reputation.
Secure the CQC rating you deserve by using the most advanced, economical and efficient sluice room machinery on the market.
Featuring enhanced chemical dosing, powerful antimicrobial surfaces and fully hands-free operation, you can be certain that this sluice machine will prevent the spread of infection in your care home.
Users of the Eco+ will benefit from:
- Economical use of water and energy
- Reduced contamination of infectious materials
- Time saved by quick cycles and no need for manual cleaning
- Reduced budget spend, thanks to low operating costs and prevention of infection outbreaks.
If you feel that re-usable bedpans are the best choice for your care home, the Panamatic Optima 2 will make sure that your disinfection needs are fully supported.
Designed with hot and cold fill to perform both hot and cold wash cycles, the Panamatic Optima 2 is a versatile bedpan washer with a large capacity to cope with high demand wards or care settings.
Users of the Panamatic Ultima 2 will benefit from:
- Reduced cross-contamination of infectious materials
- Large capacity to suit high usage healthcare environments, with up to four items processed per 8-minute cycle
- Thermal disinfection levels in line with NHS periodic testing guidelines
- Extremely thorough wash performance, eliminating 99.99% of known bacteria.
If you’re concerned about the cost of new sluice machinery, DDC Dolphin can help you manage your budget with 360° Care for washer-disinfectors and pulp macerators.
For facilities throughout the UK, 360° Care is an all-encompassing package, providing everything you need from the sluice room machine itself, to testing to NHS periodic testing guidelines, and regular service and maintenance visits.
Don’t risk your reputation with an inadequate CQC rating for infection control.
Contact the experts at DDC Dolphin today and discuss the best solution for your sluice room.