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Cleaning in Care Homes Policy

Policy

This care service believes that the highest possible standards of cleanliness are vital in residential care premises, providing a pleasant environment for people receiving care, visitors and staff, helping reduce the risk of pest infestation and minimising the spread of infection. However, the management also recognises that a balance must be kept to ensure that the premises always present a homely, comfortable and non-institutional environment.

Legal Considerations

This care service will adhere to all relevant legislation, including:

Under the above legislation, and associated codes of practice, {{org_field_name}} understands its legal and moral duty to ensure the health and safety of both staff and people who use services and to protect them, wherever practicable, from dangerous substances in the workplace, including the risk of transmission of infections.

Guidance

{{org_field_name}} seeks at all times to comply with evidence-based best practice in infection control, particularly with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice on the Prevention and Control of Infection and Related Guidance published by the Department of Health and Social Care (the Hygiene Code). The home understands that in England compliance with this guidance is an effective way to help it to meet its regulatory requirements with the Care Quality Commission under the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

In addition, the home will comply with all other relevant best practice infection control guidance.

For instance, applicable guidance from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) includes:

Guidance is also available from the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) in the form of:

Specialist advice and support will be obtained from the local public health protection team and from relevant primary healthcare teams.

Regulation

{{org_field_name}} recognises that it must comply with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 in order to meet its legal requirement for registration with the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

With respect to infection control, the home understands that a range of regulations may apply, including:

Guidance for Providers on Meeting the Regulations, published by the CQC in March 2015, provides guidance on how this service should comply with the regulations.

Procedure

  1. Cleaning activities and the cleanliness of the premises are the responsibility of ____________________.
  2. Cleaning contracts/employment arrangements will be agreed as required to ensure that sufficient cleaning resources are available to keep the premises clean, free from offensive odours and infection-free.
  3. A cleaning plan for the premises will be devised and implemented.
  4. Cleaning standards for each room and area in the home will be set and kept under review.
  5. Work method statements will be issued specifying how each element of cleaning should be conducted.
  6. The performance of the cleaning services provided will be carefully monitored.
  7. People receiving care’s rooms will be provided with cleaning services designed to maintain a domestic level of cleanliness. Where people receiving care are able and willing to contribute to the cleaning of their own rooms, this will be supported by the home.
  8. Cleaning staff will be expected to use a recognised colour-coding scheme for cleaning equipment and materials, ensuring that equipment used for toilets and bathrooms is not used in kitchens or other areas.
  9. Cleaning staff must complete all cleaning activities on a planned, regular basis according to a set schedule and to standards specified by {{org_field_name}} manager.
  10. Cleaning staff must fully comply with all relevant health and safety guidelines while performing their duties.
  11. Cleaning staff must always refer to manufacturers’ instructions for all cleaning materials, fluids, and electrical and mechanical machinery.
  12. Cleaning staff must use safe and appropriate cleaning equipment and methods for each application.
  13. Cleaning staff must ensure that all equipment is clean and in good, safe condition before starting any cleaning procedure.
  14. Cleaning staff are expected to plan their work route, removing furniture and equipment where necessary.
  15. Cleaning staff must always use clean hazard warning signs when their cleaning involves wet floors, positioning the signs at the start of the task where they will be most effective in informing people that cleaning is in progress. Warning signs must be removed, cleaned and returned to an appropriate storage area when the task is completed and the floor is dry.
  16. Cleaning staff need to check all cleaning equipment for damage or wear that would impair future use or endanger the safety of any individual. If it is damaged, cleaning staff should not use the equipment but should report the defect to their supervisor or to {{org_field_name}} manager.
  17. Cleaning staff should ensure that any electrical equipment has been tested for safety.
  18. Cleaning staff must always perform any necessary safety checks before using a machine. On completion of machine safety checks, they should briefly test each machine to check it is in working order.
  19. When operating electrical machinery, cleaning staff should always keep the cable behind the machine and ensure that it does not present a trip hazard.
  20. Cleaning staff should avoid adjusting or changing the fittings on a machine when it is plugged in.
  21. Cleaning staff must wear appropriate personal protective equipment at all times, including non-slip shoes, disposable aprons and gloves and goggles. Goggles should be worn during processes when there is a likelihood of the splashing of a potentially hazardous substance.
  22. Cleaning staff must never mix cleaning agents, as potentially hazardous gases could result.
  23. Cleaning staff should always ventilate any area where chemicals are used.
  24. Cleaning staff should always add a cleaning agent to water, thus preventing the possibility of the cleaning agent being splashed into the eyes.
  25. Cleaning staff must treat any spillage of body fluids or body waste as potentially infectious.
  26. Cleaning staff should ensure that cleaning materials, equipment and chemicals are kept in dedicated, locked storage areas.
  27. All staff should help to keep the premises clean and tidy by co-operating with cleaning processes and procedures, and by taking care to maintain their own workspace in a clean and tidy condition.
  28. All staff should respect hazard-warning signs displayed when cleaning staff are working in an area.
  29. When confronted with a “wet floor” sign when cleaning staff are mopping floors, staff should find an alternative route wherever possible.

Procedure for Cleaning Spillages

All spillages should be cleaned up as quickly as possible. Spillages of water or drinks can present a slip hazard and should be wiped up immediately using paper towels. Spillages of body fluids such as blood, sputum or urine can present an infection control risk and should be cleaned up immediately using set infection control precautions.

Staff should treat every spillage of body fluids or body waste 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 a 10,000ppm hypochlorite solution should be used. Staff should follow the procedure below.

  1. Put on disposable gloves and apron (protective goggles should be used if there is danger of splashing) and ensure that the area of the spillage is well ventilated and clear of people who use the service, other staff and visitors.
  2. If using a hypochlorite solution, prepare it in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions — if using granules, apply directly to the spill.
  3. Cover the spillage with paper towels.
  4. Carefully wipe up the spillage with more towels soaked in hypochlorite — solid or semi-solid matter (eg faeces) in the spillage should be removed first as this can inhibit the disinfectant.
  5. Dispose the waste in a clinical waste bag.
  6. Wash hands in soap and water.

Staff should note that chlorine releasing disinfectants such as hypochlorite should never be used directly on urine spills as this can release irritant chlorine gas. Urine should be cleaned up using towels and the area cleaned with detergent before applying disinfectant.

Soft furnishings (eg carpets) may be damaged by disinfectant products such as sodium hypochlorite. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that contaminated carpets that cannot tolerate chemical disinfection should be cleaned using a detergent and steam cleaned.

When using chlorine releasing agents, staff should always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. In {{org_field_name}}, all such procedures should be subject to an appropriate Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 2002 (COSHH) risk assessment.

Mops and buckets should never be used for cleaning up body fluid spills.

Cleaning During Infection Outbreaks

In {{org_field_name}}, environmental cleaning will be increased wherever there is an infection outbreak or at times when communicable infectious diseases are known to be circulating in the community.

The home will follow the cleaning and decontamination advice contained in Infection Prevention and Control (IPC): Resource for Adult Social Care published by the Department of Health and Social Care and supplementary guidance issued in response to the particular outbreak.

An increased frequency of decontamination/cleaning, in line with relevant guidance, will be incorporated into the environmental decontamination schedules for isolation areas, especially where there may be higher environmental contamination rates.

Implementation

All employees are responsible for the implementation of this policy. Overall responsibility for ensuring that the policy is implemented, monitored and reviewed rests with {{org_field_name}} manager.

Information on the policy will be:

  1. circulated to all staff
  2. provided to all new employees
  3. included in the health and safety policy
  4. included in the infection control policy.

Training

All new staff should be encouraged to read the policies on cleaning and infection control as part of their induction process. Those with specific duties and responsibilities under the policies should be offered additional training.

Infection Prevention and Control (IPC): Resource for Adult Social Care states that, where cleaning is the responsibility of the worker, it is important all understand their responsibilities such as:

___________________________ is responsible for organising and co-ordinating training.


Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

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