Cleanliness and Infection Control Policy

Cleanliness and Infection Control Policy

Introduction

Woodlands & Hill Brow Ltd understands the importance to ensure that our residents are protected against the identifiable risks of acquiring healthcare-associated infections by having in place systems and procedures to prevent and manage the spread of infections.

The systems and practices adopted are consistent with The Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice for Health and Adult Social Care on the Prevention and Control of Infections and Related Guidance (Department of Health 2009), often referred to as the Hygiene Code.

Our care service also adheres to the following infection control legislation:

  1. The Health and Safety at Work, etc Act 1974 and the Public Health Infectious Diseases Regulations 1988 which place a duty on the service to prevent the spread of infection.
  2. The Reporting of Incidents, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) which places a duty on the service to report outbreaks of certain diseases as well as accidents such as needle-stick accidents.
  3. The Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) which places a duty on the service to ensure that potentially infectious materials are identified as hazards and dealt with accordingly.
  4. The Health and Safety (Sharps Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013.

Policy Statement

Infection control is the name given to a wide range of policies, procedures and techniques intended to prevent the spread of infectious diseases amongst staff, our residents and communities. All of the staff working in the home are at risk of infection or of spreading infection, especially if their role brings them into contact with blood or bodily fluids like urine, faeces, vomit or sputum. Such substances may well contain pathogens which can be spread if staff do not take adequate precautions.

This home accepts that adherence to strict guidelines on infection control is of paramount importance in ensuring the safety of both residents and staff. It also believes that good, basic hygiene is the most powerful weapon against infection, particularly with respect to hand washing.

Communicable diseases refer to a range of diseases that can be spread due to poor infection control techniques or standards. Examples of such diseases include:

  • hepatitis
  • tuberculosis
  • MRSA
  • food poisoning, through organisms eg salmonella
  • legionnaires’ disease
  • AIDS
  • E.Coli.

Communicable diseases are the responsibility of Public Health and are managed by local consultants in communicable disease control. The Public Health Infectious Diseases Regulations 1988 place a duty on employers to adopt safe practices to prevent the spread of infection (especially blood-borne infection) and organisations may be liable for prosecution and for paying compensation if they do not comply.

The home aims to ensure that:

  1. residents, their families and staff are as safe as possible from acquiring infections from any source
  2. all health and care staff are aware of and put into practice the basic principles of infection control.

Adherence to strict guidelines on infection control is of paramount importance in ensuring the safety of residents and staff. Good, basic hygiene is the most powerful weapon against infection, particularly with respect to cleaning and hand washing.

The home works in collaboration with all local infection control agencies to maintain the highest standards of infection control at all times and ensure that, as far as is reasonably practicable, residents and staff are protected from the spread of infection at all times.

Personnel

  • _______________ is the infection control lead for the home.
  • Other infection control personnel in the home are:
  • The Registered Manager, together with the Training Manager and Infection Control lead is responsible for infection control risk assessment and staff training.
  • The daily Person in Charge together with the Registered Manager is responsible for checking fridge temperatures and ensuring that specimens are processed and handled safely.
  • All staff are responsible for the cleaning and hygiene of the home.

Infection Control Procedures

  1. All staff are required to make infection control a key priority and to act at all times in a way that is compatible with safe, modern and effective infection control practice.
  2. Management will make every effort to ensure that all staff have access to sufficient facilities and supplies of appropriate equipment to ensure that they can implement effective infection control procedures and techniques.
  3. Any staff who do not feel they have access to sufficient facilities and supplies of appropriate equipment to ensure that they can implement effective infection control procedures and techniques have a duty to inform the home manager.

Effective Hand Washing

The home accepts that the majority of cross-infection in a care environment is caused by unwashed or poorly washed hands and environmental contamination, which provide an effective transfer route for micro-organisms. It follows the basic principle of believes that regular, effective hand washing and drying, when done correctly, is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of communicable diseases. Staff who fail to adequately wash and dry their hands before and after contact with residents may transfer micro-organisms from one resident to another and may expose themselves, residents and the public to infection.

Procedures

  1. All staff should, at all times, observe high standards of hygiene to protect themselves and their residents from the unnecessary spread of infection.
  2. All staff must therefore ensure that their hands are thoroughly washed and dried:
  1. between seeing each and every resident where direct contact is involved, no matter how minor the contact
  2. after handling any body fluids or waste or soiled items
  3. after handling specimens
  4. after using the toilet
  5. before handling foodstuffs.
  6. before and after any care or clinical activity.

 

  1. Hands should be washed thoroughly according to the guidelines posted by each sink. Liquid soaps and disposable paper towels are used rather than bar soaps and fabric towels.
  2. All cuts or abrasions, particularly on the hands, should be covered with waterproof dressings at all times.
  3. Ordinary soap is considered to be effective for routine use in removing dirt and reducing levels of transient micro-organisms on the skin to acceptably safe levels.
  4. The use of antiseptic or antimicrobial preparations is recommended if residents are known to have an infectious disease or are colonised with antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) and may be required to attend a hospital setting.
  5. Antiseptic hand washing solutions may also be used in situations where effective hand washing is not possible.
  6. To be effective hands should be thoroughly washed before the use of an alcoholic rub and again after the procedure or patient contact has ended.

Cleaning and Procedures for the Cleaning of Spillages

All staff have a responsibility to help keep the home clean and tidy and to identify areas which fall below acceptable or safe standards.

  • The Registered Manager is responsible for the routine cleaning of the home.

Staff must treat every spillage of body fluids or body waste as quickly as possible and as potentially infectious. They should wear protective gloves and aprons and use disposable wipes wherever possible. Eye protection should also be used if there is risk of splashing.

For a spillage of blood or body fluids a 10,000 ppm hypochlorite solution should be used. Staff should do the following.

  1.  Put on disposable gloves and apron.
  2.  Prepare the hypochlorite solution.
  3.  Cover the spillage with paper towels.
  4.  Carefully wipe up the spillage with more towels soaked in hypochlorite.
  5.  Dispose of the waste in a yellow waste bag.
  6.  Wash hands in soap and water.

The Cleaning and Sterilising of Instruments and Equipment

This home uses single-use, disposable equipment. All equipment that is not disposable is thoroughly cleaned after use with hot water and detergent.

 The Handling and Disposal of Clinical and Soiled Waste

All clinical waste is disposed of in sealed yellow plastic sacks and each sack is clearly labelled with the home’s details. Non-clinical waste is disposed of in normal black plastic bags. When no more than three-quarters full, yellow sacks are sealed and stored safely to await collection by an authorised collector. Yellow bags are used only in pedal-type bins in clinical areas.

The Use of Protective Clothing

  1. Adequate and suitable personal protective equipment and clothing is provided.
  2. All staff performing personal care must use disposable aprons. Disposable gloves must be worn when coming into direct contact with bodily fluids
  3. Sterile gloves are provided for clinical procedures such as applying dressings. These are to be changed between residents. On no account should staff attempt to wash and reuse the gloves.
  4. Non-sterile gloves are provided for washing dirty or used instruments, clearing up blood or bodily fluids and for handling disinfectants.
  5. The responsibility for ordering and ensuring that supplies of gloves and aprons are readily available and accessible lies with Registered Manager.
  6. This company endeavors to use non-latex products, any member of staff who suspects that they or a resident might be suffering from an allergic reaction to the gloves provided should stop using them immediately and inform their line manager. They should then consult their GP.

The Handling and Storage of Specimens

  1. Specimens should be collected only if ordered by a GP.
  2. All specimens should be treated with equally high levels of caution.
  3. Specimens should be labelled clearly and packed into self-sealing bagsand stored in the designated fridge prior to being taken to the GP for collection by the local laboratory.
  4. Non-sterile gloves should be worn when handling the specimen containers and hands should be washed afterwards.

The Disposal of Sharps (eg Used Needles and Ampoules)

  1. The company complies fully with the Health and Safety (Sharp Instruments in Healthcare) Regulations 2013 and associated guidance from the HSE, according to which the unnecessary use of medical sharps should be avoided wherever possible.
  2. Where sharps are used, “safer sharps” are employed wherever possible, such as safer syringes, etc.
  3. Sharps — typically needles or blades — are disposed of in proper, purpose-built sharps disposal containers complying with BS 7320.
  4. Sharps are never disposed of in ordinary or clinical waste bags.
  5. Staff should never resheath needles.
  6. Sharps boxes should never be overfilled.
  7. When full, sharps boxes should be sealed, marked as hazardous waste and clearly labelled with the homes details.
  8. Staff should never attempt to force sharps waste into an overfilled box.
  9. Used, filled boxes should be stored securely until collected for incineration according to individual arrangements.

In the event of an injury with a used or potentially contaminated needle:

  1. staff should wash the area immediately and encourage bleeding if the skin is broken
  2. staff should report the injury to their line manager immediately and ensure that an incident form is filled in
  3. staff should make an urgent appointment to see a GP or, if none is available, Accident and Emergency
  4. managers should record and investigate the incident and ensure that the member of staff is offered appropriate “post-exposure prophylaxis” and counselling as required.

Food Hygiene

  1. All staff should adhere to the home’s food hygiene policy and ensure that all food prepared  for residents is prepared, cooked, stored and presented in line with the high standards required by the Food Safety Act 1990 and the Food Hygiene (England) Regulations 2005.
  2. Any member of staff who becomes ill while handling food should report at once to his or her line manager or supervisor.
  3. Any storage or handling of food in the home raises a potential risk of food poisoning so the highest standards of hygiene must be observed by all staff at all times.
  4. Foodstuffs brought into the home by staff must be stored in the foodstuffs fridge provided for staff in the staff room, never the specimens fridge, and outdated food disposed of. Staff must follow all food storage recommendations and observe sell-by dates scrupulously.

Reporting

The Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations 2013 (RIDDOR) requires an organisation to report the outbreak of notifiable diseases to the Health and Safety Executive. Notifiable diseases include: cholera, food poisoning, smallpox, typhus, dysentery, measles, meningitis, mumps, rabies, rubella, tetanus, typhoid fever, viral haemorrhagic fever, hepatitis, whooping cough, leptospirosis, tuberculosis and yellow fever.

Records of any such outbreak must be kept, specifying dates and times and a completed disease report form must be sent to the Health and Safety Executive.

  • In the event of an incident the Registered Manager is responsible for informing the Health and Safety Executive.
  • RIDDOR forms are kept in the home managers office
  • In the event of the suspected outbreak of an infectious disease at the organisation, the local Consultant in Communicable Disease Control or Communicable Disease Team should be contacted immediately

Infection Control Training

All staff are trained in basic infection prevention and control measures in line with Common Induction Standards and annual infection control training as part of the companies mandatory training programme. Staff with specific infection control link responsibilities are provided with the relevant training for their role, duties and levels of responsibility.

All training is updated as required by changes of legislation, policy and guidance.

Review

 

Signed: ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Date: ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––
Policy review date: ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

 

logos