Are you up to scratch with your infection control and prevention measures? That’s what the CQC will assess as part of their safety key line of enquiry (KLOE). You need to fully comply with NICE infection and prevention control standards to achieve an Outstanding rating.
A mock CQC inspection from Care Skilled will help ensure you’re meeting all the requirements in this area and will also identify opportunities for improvement before your real inspection.
So, how can you deliver safe, clean care to service users? Whether you run a care home or a home care business, your team will be in an environment of vulnerable people.
Infections can pose a serious health risk and make existing medical conditions worse. Service users are in regular contact with carers, family, friends and other care home residents, which unfortunately provides the perfect opportunity for unchecked infections to spread.
Keeping hands clean
The most effective way of stopping the spread of infection is to keep hands clean. Carers should wash their hands both before and after providing care, especially if they’ve been exposed to bodily fluids. But they also need to clean their hands after touching a service user’s surroundings if there’s a possibility of contamination (for example, after touching door handles in the room of a person with vomiting or diarrhea), and as soon as they take off protective gloves.
To make it easy for staff to regularly wash their hands their uniform should keep their lower arms bare. Consider making it standard practice to take off rings, bracelets and wrist watches and to keep fingernails short and clean, without polish or false nails. Cuts or grazes should always be covered with a waterproof dressing.
Personal protective equipment
To make sure you’re using the right personal protective equipment (PPE) you’ll need to assess the tasks your staff are doing and any risks involved. Our mock CQC inspection services can help make sure your checks are in line with regulations.
Establish best practice processes for PPE, including:
- wearing each item once only
- putting items on immediately before providing care and taking them off straight after
- changing gloves between different tasks, even if they’re being performed for the same person
- changing PPE between service users
- disposing of all used items safely and in line with guidance.
As well as disposing of used PPE, healthcare waste such as dressings and sharps (needles) also need to be handled correctly.
The only people handling sharps should be fully-trained members of your team. They should be handled as little as possible and not passed from one hand to the other. Care should be taken to avoid bending, breaking or recapping used needles, and they should be put in the correct, designated waste container right away. Make sure these containers are exclusively used for sharps and disposed of when they reach the fill line, or every 3 months.
All waste should immediately go into colour-coded bags or containers and be stored and labelled correctly in line with guidance.
Managing infection control is much easier if everyone follows the same rules. Outstanding providers educate service users, their friends and family on the importance of handwashing. Written literature and posters will help to demonstrate that you’ve addressed this.
If service users are likely to be handing any healthcare waste, they too should be educated on how to dispose of potentially hazardous materials safely and correctly.
Need some extra help?
Find out your current predicted rating and identify opportunities to improve with a mock CQC inspection. Infection prevention and control is just one of many areas our expert team will assess as part of the CQC’s 5 KLOEs.
Call 0333 444 5344 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.