Choosing a care home is a difficult decision that many people face, either for themselves or for a loved one. A very important factor in this decision making process is whether they feel the home meets high levels of hygiene practice, especially since the elderly are especially susceptible to illness and infection. Therefore even the smallest detail about how clean and hygienic the carehome appears to be can greatly influence someone’s choice.
Care homes in the UK must comply with the Department of Health’s guidance for best practice. These recommendations are designed to keep both residents and carers safe and well. These include:
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Health experts advise that the single most important activity that care home staff can undertake is proper hand-washing. Many diseases are spread from person to person by hands contaminated with micro-organisms. In addition, some germs can survive on hard surfaces for up to several hours and can play a significant role in spreading the infection further.
Good hand hygiene is a serious issue for anyone working in the healthcare sector and it is vitally important that care and nursing home staff receive full training and support. For example, staff need to know when to use a hand sanitiser or when to use hot water and soap. Although hand sanitisers are a very quick and accessible method to clean hands, not every scenario would be appropriate for their use. (e.g., if hands were heavily soiled with blood or faecal matter).
There are best practice guidelines to follow for cleaning hands, whether using soap and water or a hand sanitiser. Citron Hygiene has a free poster download to help support your staff.
A range of effective handwashing solutions
Citron Hygiene offers a range of handwashing solutions, such as touch-free soap dispensers that provide a safer hygienic handwashing experience due to the elimination of any hand contact the dispenser. For easy access, our range of hand sanitisers can be positioned throughout the care home and provide a fast and effective way to kill 99.9% of harmful bacteria offering protection for up to four hours. Many homes encourage visitors to sanitise their hands upon arrival, sending out a clear message that hygiene is an issue they take seriously.
Care staff also have a very important role to play in encouraging and supervising residents, where necessary, to wash their own hands before eating or after using the toilet. This can be especially difficult for staff who deal with residents who suffer from cognitive impairment, such as dementia, or who may have physical restrictions.
Many residents have underlying medical conditions and it is therefore very important that staff are properly protected against the potential injury from sharps (e.g., needles and syringes) and the transmission of contaminated body fluids. Sharps are a common cause of accidents, and they need to be carefully stored and disposed of in appropriate sharps collection containers. Our sharps disposal units are impenetrable and have a self-locking final closure that conforms to British Safety standards and helps ensure staff and fully protected.
Clinical waste must be correctly identified, labelled and collected by a licensed waste contractor. Citron Hygiene offers a nationwide network of service centres to ensure that your clinical and offensive waste is stored, collected and disposed of in line with government legislation. We can help you navigate the waste maze and ensure you are fully compliant.
With the UK’s increasingly aging population, it stands to reason that good quality care homes will continue to be a in great demand. As part of the very important service they deliver, it is clear that best practice hygiene plays a key role in making sure care homes are clean and hygienic places to live and work.