Common types of outbreaks in the care home environment come from respiratory infections, frequently caused by influenza viruses and those from gastrointestinal infections, for example, noroviruses.
These are transmitted from person to person via the air or faecal-oral often from contaminated surfaces.
With residents living in close proximity to one another, outbreaks can spread very quickly. The risk is multiplied further by some residents being more vulnerable to infections and often taking longer for individuals to recover which outside the direct impact on the resident and adds additional pressure on the carers and families. In some instances, the effects of an illness go outside of this and sometimes cause death.
The CQC will be looking to see if prevention procedures have been followed correctly but also procedures to deal with the outbreak.
Homes can be shut due to poor cleaning and prevention measures but also badly executed or not actually having a thorough plan in place to react to an outbreak or instance.
The only way to effectively deal with an outbreak is for trained people to follow specific procedures using effective and clinically tested products.
Disinfection will only removing or kill most of the viable organisms. Disinfection reduces the level of micro-organisms and with this most importantly spores are not destroyed.
The way to effectively get the environment back to being safe is to decontamination, which means a combination of cleaning, disinfection and sterilisation thus destroying the micro organisms and removing them from the environment to make it safe.
When an outbreak or instance occurs, it is common for homes not to have the skill set required within teams to effectively tackle situations or lose it quickly due to staff turnover. Decontaminations need highly specialist training, so this is where DHS offer specialised expertise to competently and safely solve issues quickly to get contaminated areas back online.
How do we complete Decontamination?
Our methodology for decontaminating leverages clinically proven high-level disinfectants that offer a safe effective and user-friendly single step cleaning and disinfection.
- A complete assessment is undertaken of the areas that are to be decontaminated, this includes understanding the building layout, size, volumetric calculation, entry, exit points and air flows.
- Swabs can be taken pretreatment, these can be either using ATP testing or sent to an independent UKAS accredited laboratory to determine load and strain of microorganisms.
- Areas also have an air quality reading
- A written proposal is them provided detailing the recommended treatment plan. – This may include for larger areas to compartmentalise zones and treat them in sequence.
- When the treatment is due, our teams work closely with yours, staff are briefed and updates are given throughout the process.
- All team members wear appropriate PPE
- Decontamination is normally undertaken out of hours when areas are free of residents and staff and our teams never leave the area that is being treated.
- Ther is no need for wipe down, using the TecCare range in the Vortex system, each area is brought back ready for use within the hour are and are spore free with a 30-day protection.
- Areas are one again swabbed and air quality recorded. Results from air quality are available immediately whilst swab samples are available following testing.
- After efficacy, the most important part of our service is out people. This is where we are very different, our teams spend the majority of their time working in care homes so they completely understand all aspects of the environment. They focus on putting residents and staff first and we hugely proud that all team members are ‘Dementia Friends’ and put people first by always ensuring they are tactile and respectful.
- To be able to perform the treatment effectively, our teams are professionally trained by infection prevention experts, they are also fully trained by the manufacturers on all equipment and products used.
- Complementing this, they are all BICS trained and fully comply with COSHH and DHS company Health and Safety policies.
We lead with patented clinically proven sporicidal products that are once diluted pH neutral with no classification, safe to use and readily biodegradable
- These products allow areas to be ready to use within the hour and do not require wipedowns
- The chemistry used allows a 30-day protection against spores – this has been proven both from tests inside of a care home environment and by an independent test carried out at the British Government’s Porton Down laboratories.
- Our teams are not limited to this product selection and also offer traditional methods or processes customer processes using chemistry such as hydrogen peroxide, chlorine dioxide, Sodium hypochlorite, UV, and Ozone, although the time taken to have the area ready for use again is extended.