Background Following the Care Quality Commission reclassification of hospices as acute providers, the hospice commenced an Infection Prevention and Control review of care activities and the hospice environment. The Infection Prevention and Control Consultant identified the lack of assurance around decontamination of mattresses as a potential risk to clinically vulnerable patients. Historically, dynamic mattresses were surface cleaned but not internally consistently checked as there is no facility to open up and effectively decontaminate.
Aim There were four aims of the review:
To deliver a safe and clean mattress for patients.
To maximise safety of the care environment.
To ensure all dynamic mattresses are professionally inspected and cleaned before each patient use.
Provide assurance that methods of cleaning mattresses are effective.
Method The review of the mattress cleaning processes involved the following:
Examining current procedures and identifying areas to improve the current process.
A visit to a mattress manufacturer that has dedicated professional mattress cleaning facilities.
Review of existing facilities identified that there was no appropriate space for safe onsite decontamination.
Introducing a colour coded segregation process where red bags are deployed for used mattresses and decontaminated mattresses returned in clear bags.
Completion of a business case which was approved by senior management team for additional expenditure to outsource the service.
Results The review of infection prevention and control standards has helped improve patient safety. The process changes have freed up nursing time. Assurance is provided via the professional automated decontamination process now in place.
Conclusion Accessing Infection Prevention and Control expertise to review hospice care and the hospice environment helped maximise protection of clinically vulnerable patients, introduced improvements in infection control standards, and assurance that mattresses are appropriately de-contaminated between patient use, in accordance with the National Infection Prevention and Control Manual for England (v1.1, 2022).
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