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CLEANING & HYGIENE


Stop the Spread


James White, Managing Director of cleaning consultant and equipment supplier Denis Rawlins, shares his insights on how to effectively halt the spread of infection in care facilities through new cleaning practices that don’t rely on over-use of disinfectants.


We consistently champion a scientific approach and proven methods for successful infection control, especially where vulnerable patients need to be kept safe. However, we continue to find ourselves at odds with common floor cleaning practices, which oſten prove to be ineffective and remain a universal practice in healthcare facilities.


STOP THE MOP


The coronavirus pandemic has pushed us to the limits throughout 2020. As we approach Christmas, the threat is not over but is, in fact, re-escalating. Our health services have taken a battering, including in care homes across the country where the virus spread with such terrifying ease.


These sectors are always on high alert in the autumn and winter months against the spread of infection, from seasonal viruses such as the flu and the winter vomiting bug. It also requires extra diligence to gain control over the stubbornly-resistant MRSA and C. Difficile. Hence, we have seen the intensive use of disinfectants in hospitals, clinics, and care homes.


At Denis Rawlins, we recognise the need for, and vigorously promote, antimicrobial protection. However, we always warn against an over-reliance on disinfectants to achieve it.


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Mopping spreads soils and contaminants as mop-heads are immersed in the bucket and returned to the floor. At best, the cleaning solution will have killed most bacteria, before dispersing them across the surface yet again. There, these dead microbes serve as a food source for the next wave, and any remaining live bacteria. This, in turn, feeds bacterial resi as a defence from cleaning agents. So, eventually, mopping creates the increased risk of microbes developing immunity. Much like the losing battle of antibiotics against superbugs, our disinfectants will gradually become ineffective over time and will not serve us well.


REMOVE, IMPROVE, AND PROTECT


We need to move away from this ‘disinfect and disperse’ approach. True cleanliness is achieved when soils and contaminants are removed.


In health establishments in particular, where vulnerable people reside and are more susceptible to illness through infection, the standard of cleanliness has got to be exemplary.


www.tomorrowscare.co.uk


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