Undertaking cleaning contracts within the healthcare industry is a specialist job and requires a thorough knowledge and understanding of certain regulations and cleanliness standards set out by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), and the NPSA Specification for Standards of Cleanliness Within the NHS.
In terms of cleaning the CQC has four main objectives, of which all Procare contractors adhere to:
1 To assist providers in ensuring the infection risks posed by the delivery of cleaning services have been assessed.
2 To provide a framework through which cleaning services can be arranged to address those risks.
3 To ensure that appropriate documentation showing how the above processes have been managed and implemented is available.
4 To emphasize that cleaning is a shared responsibility involving more than the cleaning team.
By April 2013, all primary care medical practices in England must ensure they are registered with the CQC. Cleaning procedures within such environments are primarily focused on the prevention and control of infection while maintaining safety and strict hygiene measures.
Dental and medical practices will need to work closely with their cleaning team to satisfy these requirements. Initially, a risk assessment should be undertaken to determine how, when, and what cleaning methods and routines need to be implemented.
From there, a cleaning plan should be introduced which details the equipment, techniques, procedures, products and detergents to be used. A rota should also be devised so that general and deep cleaning processes can be completed around surgery hours.
Audits and inspections should also be conducted at regular intervals to ensure the processes and methods are working effectively and successfully.
For most surgeries, cleaning teams will not be on hand 24/7 to deal with spills and other hygiene issues. This is where good communication and clear paperwork takes effect between cleaning and medical staff so all parties are aware of how to deal with routine and emergency requirements and also that compliance to the regulations is seen to be done as well as actually being done.