TO CARE HOME CLEANING It’s always been important to maintain vigorous standards of cleanliness in care homes, but never has this need been more visible than over the past 18 months. COVID-19 shone a light on the necessity of hygiene as an infection control measure – but it also highlighted employers’ duties of care to their teams.

Care homes responded in various ways, but common among them was a revamped approach to cleaning, segregation, and infection control. Croll Healthcare, a family-run company in Essex with over 60 employees, shares its approach to protect its staff and residents during the pandemic.

For Group Manager Tanya Crosby, the initial onset of the pandemic was confusing for care home staff and managers alike. “It was a tough period to manage and incredibly difficult for our employees. We had no guidance, no testing, no PPE, no way of knowing if staff or patients had COVID or not – nobody really knew anything at all,” she explained. Tanya decided to tackle the problem head on by investing in a new technology to keep coronaviruses at bay.

“I was really intrigued by the approach that many countries in East Asia took to containing COVID-19, and particularly interested in how they applied the lessons they’d learned during the SARS outbreak,” she continued. “Many were using electrolysed water sprays to create effective disinfectant cleaners which were sprayed all over – on the streets, on public transport systems and so on – to clean entire cities.”

Tanya found the Toucan Eco cleaning system through Robert Scott. Toucan Eco uses electrolysed salt water to kill germs and clean all kinds of surfaces. Its technology has been in use for decades, but in recent years has become widely adopted in countries such as Singapore, Japan and Korea, as well as here in the UK.

Certified to antiviral EN 14476 and EN 16777, and antibacterial EN 1276 and EN 13697, the solution it creates kills more than 99.99% of germs – including coronaviruses. Its multi-use approach is ideal for the care home sector, as it can be used to clean and sanitise any surface including in kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, soſt furnishings, as well as a deodoriser.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Tanya. “We use it in all of our homes. Its cleaning power is exceptional and even our most hardened bleach fans have been converted. But it also made our team feel safe in the early days of the pandemic. They could disinfect anything and everything with it, including their clothes and personal possessions, helping cut the risk of community transmission.”

Croll had already decided to move towards adopting ecologically-friendly initiatives wherever possible, and Tanya had been actively researching environmentally-friendly cleaning alternatives before the pandemic struck.

“We wanted a solution that we could spritz everywhere without worrying about the health implications of inhaling the solution or getting it on our skin,” she said. “We don’t want our staff or residents breathing in excess chemicals. Our homes are meant to be where we can support the aging process – we don’t want to make it worse.”

At Croll, the system is now being used as the main cleaning product at all three care homes. Hill House, one of the three Croll care homes, cares for 20 residents. Its housekeeping team is led by Corroll Beale.

Corroll added: “We’re conscious of the amount of cleaning chemicals we use at Hill House. We aim not to use strong smelling chemical cleaners whenever we can, not just because of odour but also because we don’t want our residents to breathe in chemicals all day.

“Ultimately, we all want to create safe, welcoming spaces for our residents and protect the people working with them. New cleaning technologies, like Toucan Eco, are helping us achieve this.” - 7 -

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