The sluice room in your care home isn’t likely to be the most glamorous area of your facility. Compared to the bedrooms and gardens, it might not have the same degree of cosmetic appeal – but that doesn’t make it any less important. In fact, when it comes to the health of your residents and wellbeing of your staff, it’s a cornerstone of your business.
A care home sluice room is used for the safe disposal of bodily waste, as well as the cleaning and disinfecting of medical equipment and supplies. They’re vital in healthcare and residential settings because they help prevent the spread of infection and disease.
Sluice rooms are equipped as per a facility’s specific needs, but they frequently contain:
- Bedpan washer disinfectors - designed to empty, wash and disinfect reusable human waste containers, such as bedpans and commode pots.
- Medical pulp macerators - designed to pulverise and dispose of both single-use medical pulp containers and human waste.
- Incontinence product macerators – designed to dispose of incontinence pads and nappies, quickly and efficiently.
- Air purification systems – designed to eliminate odour and reduce harmful bacteria on hard surfaces.
- Consumable products – which will support your sluice room management, such as scale inhibitor and disinfectant.
Sluice rooms are used all day, every day. As a result, your furnishings and technology can’t last forever – but when should you consider upgrading, and what are the benefits of doing so?
What are the signs that you should refurbish or upgrade your sluice room?
A care home should consider refurbishing their sluice room if it is outdated, in disrepair, or not meeting the current standards for infection control and safety.
Some specific indicators that a sluice room may need refurbishing include…
- Outdated equipment. If your sluice room machinery isn’t functioning properly, it may be time to consider replacing it. This could include old macerators, bedpan washers, sinks, or other fixtures. Machines typically have a 10-year lifespan but there’s no hard and fast rule. Some care home managers choose to run DDC Dolphin machines for longer, for example, because of their robustness and reliability.
- Inadequate space. If the sluice room is too small to accommodate the needs of the care home or if it lacks sufficient storage space for cleaning equipment and supplies, it may need to be expanded or reconfigured.
- Safety concerns. If the flooring or walls of the sluice room are deteriorating, it may be time to refurbish the room to make it safer and more practical for staff and residents. The same applies for ongoing plumbing issues which not only cause operational disturbances, but pose a health risk, too.
- Infection control standards. If the sluice room is not meeting current infection control standards or is difficult to clean and disinfect, it may need to be updated to ensure that it’s hygienic. Best practice guidelines for sluice rooms are changing all the time – all with a view to improving standards and preventing the spread of infections. If you fail to provide sufficient or adequate sluice room facilities, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) may decide that your care home ‘requires improvement’ – preventing you from taking in new residents.
Care homes need to ensure that sluice rooms are up-to-date and meeting current standards for infection control and safety.
This can be difficult during challenging economic conditions – but new sluice room facilities needn’t be a galling financial burden. If you choose to work with DDC Dolphin for your refurbishment, you can spread the capital cost over five years. Furthermore, our 360° Care, Service and Chemicals plans will help you to reduce day-to-day operational costs – extending the life of your equipment and saving you money on machine care consumables.
DDC Dolphin offer a full sluice room kit-out and refurbishment service, which helps to protect both your infection control standards and your budget.
DDC Dolphin’s complete turnkey solution includes:
- Initial consultation – free
- Design survey – free
- Supply and installation of sluice room machinery
- Supply and installation of robust and hygienic stainless-steel furniture
- Overseeing all plumbing and electrical work
- Installing impermeable, impact resistant Whiterock™ PVCu cladding to the walls
- Installing healthcare-grade flooring
- Project managing the entire sluice room installation – so you have just one point of contact and one invoice
- Delivering excellent aftercare – ensuring your sluice room continues to deliver optimum performance and a good return on your investment.
All work is completed quickly, efficiently and safely, with minimum disruption to your residents and staff.