7.7 Safe Management of the Care Environment

During this ongoing pandemic, cleaning frequency of the environment should be increased across all pathways. A minimum of 4 hours should have elapsed between the first daily clean and the second daily clean.  Where a room has not been occupied by any staff or residents since the first daily clean was undertaken, a second daily clean is not required.

It is the responsibility of the person in charge to ensure that the care environment is safe for practice (this includes environmental cleanliness/maintenance). The person in charge must act if this is deficient.

The care environment must be:

Ideally rooms which are carpeted should be avoided when carrying out consultations in healthcare facilities

Environmental cleaning in the Medium and High Risk COVID-19 categories should be undertaken using either a combined detergent/disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 ppm available chlorine or a general purpose neutral detergent in a solution of warm water followed by a disinfectant solution of 1000ppm.

Cleaning across the categories is summarised in table 6.

Table 6: Environmental cleaning determined by category

 

Medium risk pathway

High risk pathway

First daily clean

Full clean

Full clean

Second daily clean

High Risk Touch Surfaces* within clinical inpatient areas

High Risk Touch Surfaces within clinical inpatient areas

Product

Combined detergent/disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 ppm av chlorine or general-purpose neutral detergent in a solution of warm water followed by a disinfectant solution of 1000ppm av chlorine.

If an item cannot withstand chlorine releasing agents consult the manufacturer’s instructions for a suitable alternative to use following or combined with detergent cleaning.

Combined detergent/disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 ppm av chlorine or general-purpose neutral detergent in a solution of warm water followed by a disinfectant solution of 1000ppm av chlorine.

If an item cannot withstand chlorine releasing agents consult the manufacturer’s instructions for a suitable alternative to use following or combined with detergent cleaning.

*High risk touch surfaces as a minimum should include door handles/push pads, taps, light switches, lift buttons.  Resident areas should include the bedroom and treatment areas and staff rest areas.

Any areas contaminated with blood and body fluids across any of the three categories require to be cleaned as per Appendix 9 of the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual.

7.7.1 Cleaning practice points

NHS healthcare facilities will be cleaned by NHS domestic services who will adhere to the National Cleaning Specification Standards. For all other health and care facilities (excluding patient/individuals own home) the following good practice points apply:

When an organisation adopts practices that differ from those recommended/stated in this national guidance with regards to cleaning agents, the individual organisation is fully responsible for ensuring safe systems of work, including the completion of local risk assessment(s) approved and documented through local governance procedures.