The new National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021 were released in April 2021. It has been reported in GP Practice Management circles, as recently as September 2021, that the release of these new standards was done rather ‘quietly and without any fanfare’, with some even saying that Primary Care has been ‘kept in the dark’.
The new standards state that “The National standards of healthcare cleanliness 2021 (the national standards) apply to all healthcare settings – acute hospitals, mental health, community, primary care, dental care, ambulance trusts, GP surgeries and clinics, and care homes, regardless of the way cleaning services are provided.”
The new standards replace the National specifications for cleanliness in the NHS 2007 (and amendments) and primary care settings will have to become compliant with the new standards as these have been adopted by the CQC.
If you haven’t seen these new standards yet, then please follow the link below:
After an Executive Summary (which states “Healthcare establishments must be able to demonstrate how and to what standard they are being cleaned.”) and an introduction, the main sections of the standards document cover the following headings:
- General principals and definitions of cleaning and disinfection.
- This provides a clear definition of the terms ‘Cleaning’, ‘Disinfection’, ‘Sterilisation’ and ‘Decontamination’ and explains that these are not interchangeable terms.
- Cleaning responsibilities.
- Explains how to assign the responsibility for specific cleaning functions.
- Safe cleaning frequencies
- An appendix provides baseline required frequencies for healthcare organisations.
- Risk categories and standards for functional areas.
- This covers how to assess all functional areas and assign them the appropriate Functional Risk Category (FR1 to FR6).
- Effective cleaning and infection prevention and control.
- This provides guidance on classification of infection risk and practical advice on methodology including colour-coding, protection, hygiene, training, uniforms and waste management.
- Policies and strategic planning.
- Auditing and monitoring information.
- Principals and scoring.
- Audit process.
- Technical, efficacy and external auditing.
- Advice on digital and technological auditing.
- PLACE and the National standards.
- Encourages patient-led assessments of cleaning standards (however, this is mainly in connection to hospital and hospices).
Some of these requirements may seem a little daunting for those in primary care, GP surgeries and clinics without large IPC teams. But there’s no need to panic – Help is at hand.
Ideal Cleaning Services provide daily cleaning services to NHS Trusts, Sexual Health Clinics, GP Practices, Dental Clinics and Vaccination Centres.
We are conversant with the new standards, Functional Risk Categories, performance parameters and cleaning frequencies and the Auditing and Monitoring principals for the new national standards.
We can help you determine the Functional Risk Category of each room, agree the responsibilities framework and train our staff on the appropriate cleaning methods and frequencies for each area. Our Area Supervisors will then undertake a regime of audits and inspections to provide you with the required Auditing and Monitoring information.
If you would like us to visit you and discuss how we can help you comply with the new requirements, then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’ll undertake a free site survey and provide you with a no-obligation proposal and quotation.