Clinical deep cleaning is an essential process in healthcare facilities to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for patients, staff, and visitors. It is a thorough cleaning process that goes beyond the regular cleaning protocols, and it involves the use of specialised equipment and techniques to remove all traces of dirt, bacteria, and other pathogens from surfaces, equipment, and fixtures. This article will explain what clinical deep cleaning is, why it is required, how to ensure an area is clinically clean, and how it is audited to the NHS National Specification of Cleanliness.
What is a Clinical Deep Clean?
Clinical deep cleaning is a comprehensive cleaning process that is designed to eliminate the risk of infection in healthcare facilities. It involves the use of specialized equipment, cleaning agents, and techniques to remove all traces of dirt, bacteria, and other pathogens from surfaces, equipment, and fixtures. The process is carried out by trained and certified cleaning professionals who have a thorough understanding of the risks associated with healthcare-associated infections (HAIs) and the measures required to prevent their spread.
Why is Clinical Deep Cleaning Required?
Clinical deep cleaning is required in healthcare facilities for several reasons. Firstly, it helps to prevent the spread of infections, which can be life-threatening to vulnerable patients, such as those with compromised immune systems or chronic illnesses. Secondly, it helps to maintain a clean and hygienic environment that is conducive to patient recovery and wellbeing. Thirdly, it is a legal requirement for healthcare facilities to maintain a clean and safe environment for patients, staff, and visitors.
How to Ensure an Area is Clinically Clean
Ensuring an area is clinically clean requires a comprehensive approach that involves several steps, including:
- Preparing the area for cleaning: Before the cleaning process begins, the area must be prepared by removing any clutter, furniture, or equipment that may impede the cleaning process. The cleaning team should also wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves, masks, and gowns, to protect themselves and prevent the spread of infection.
- Conducting a risk assessment: The specialist deep cleaning team should conduct a risk assessment to identify high-risk areas and prioritize their cleaning efforts accordingly. This may include areas with high foot traffic, frequently touched surfaces, or areas where infectious patients are treated.
- Using appropriate cleaning agents: The specialist deep cleaning team should use appropriate cleaning agents that are effective against the specific pathogens present in the facility. This may include disinfectants, detergents, or sanitisers that are certified for use in healthcare facilities.
- Using specialized equipment: The deep cleaning team should use specialized equipment, such as steam cleaners, UV lights, or electrostatic sprayers, to ensure all surfaces and equipment are thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
- Adhering to a cleaning protocol: The deep cleaning team should adhere to a cleaning protocol that outlines the specific steps and procedures required to ensure the area is clinically clean. This may include a checklist of tasks, such as cleaning floors, walls, fixtures, and equipment.
- Conducting a post-cleaning inspection: After the cleaning process is complete, the cleaning team should conduct a post-cleaning inspection to ensure all areas have been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Any areas that require additional cleaning should be identified and addressed.
How Clinical Deep Cleaning is Audited to the NHS National Specification of Cleanliness
The NHS National Specification of Cleanliness sets out the standards that healthcare facilities must adhere to in order to maintain a clean and safe environment for patients, staff, and visitors. To ensure compliance with these standards, clinical deep cleaning is audited using a variety of methods, including:
- Visual inspections: Visual inspections are conducted by trained auditors who inspect the facility for cleanliness and hygiene. This may include checking for visible dirt, dust, or debris on surfaces, fixtures, and equipment.
- Microbiological sampling: Microbiological sampling involves taking samples from surfaces and equipment to test for the presence of bacteria and other pathogens. This helps to identify areas that require additional cleaning and disinfection.
- ATP testing: ATP testing measures the levels of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) on surfaces, which is an indicator of cleanliness. The higher the ATP levels, the more contaminated the surface is, indicating that further cleaning is required.
- Compliance audits: Compliance audits are conducted by independent auditors who review the facility’s cleaning protocols, procedures, and training programs to ensure they comply with the NHS National Specification of Cleanliness.
- Patient feedback: Patient feedback is also used to audit clinical deep cleaning. Patients are asked to provide feedback on the cleanliness of their surroundings, including their rooms, bathrooms, and common areas. This feedback is used to identify areas for improvement and ensure that the facility is meeting the needs of patients.
Clinical deep cleaning is an essential process in healthcare facilities to ensure a safe and hygienic environment for patients, staff, and visitors. It involves the use of specialized equipment, cleaning agents, and techniques to remove all traces of dirt, bacteria, and other pathogens from surfaces, equipment, and fixtures. To ensure compliance with the NHS National Specification of Cleanliness, clinical deep cleaning is audited using a variety of methods, including visual inspections, microbiological sampling, ATP testing, compliance audits, and patient feedback. By adhering to these standards, healthcare facilities can ensure that they provide a clean and safe environment for everyone who enters their doors. Should you need any further help with organising your clinical deep clean, or if you simply would like a free quotation for your requirements please contact us. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, our deep cleaning service will give you peace of mind in delivering a clinically clean environment for your service users.