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COVER STORY One-Use Wonder


Chicopee explains why single-use cleaning materials are vital in fighting infection and keeping your care facility as clean as possible to provide peace of mind in the current situation.


The UK’s care homes have been thrust into the spotlight amid the coronavirus pandemic but, as restrictions are being re-imposed, residents and their families can remain confident that effective cleaning practices, which include the use of class-leading products such as Chicopee’s Single Use Dispensing System (SUDS), can limit the risk of infection.


TAKING CARE OF CARE HOMES


Major studies have revealed that coronavirus outbreaks are more likely to happen in a care home, up to 20 times more probable in large care homes in fact. It is a number clearly reflected in the stark figure that almost 40% (21,600) of UK deaths attributed to COVID-19 in July 2020 were shown to be that of care home residents.


A Vivaldi survey of 9,081 UK care homes revealed that 56% reported at least one confirmed case of coronavirus (staff or resident) between 26th


May and 20th June 2020. What’s more,


across the care homes that reported at least one case of coronavirus, estimates revealed that 20% of residents and 7% of staff subsequently tested positive for COVID-19.


As a setting that serves a critical part in looking aſter elderly populations and plays a vital role in supporting the wider community, clearly these figures are of great concern. And, while most care homes are managed under controlled budgetary restraints, they have had to adapt buildings and procedures to reduce infection risk, including implementing ever more effective and thorough cleaning measures to reduce the threat of contamination.


Safeguarding the welfare of staff and residents in care homes, by preventing the chance of coronavirus infection, is a high priority. Especially as top epidemiological professionals remain fearful there may be a potentially bigger, more devastating, second wave of COVID-19 during the winter months.


Research from the Centres for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) has revealed COVID-19 can live on plastic and stainless- steel surfaces for up to three days. Disinfecting 'high-touch' areas – such as door handles and banisters – to banish harmful bacteria and prevent cross contamination, has therefore assumed even greater importance.


This is even more essential in places like care homes. Not only due to residents oſten being deemed as high risk and included on the shielded patients list (SPL), but also due to the large volume of high-traffic areas and touch points in facilities that host the greatest concentration of microbes, therefore, acting as vectors for the spread of the virus.


The failure to achieve high standards of cleanliness in such areas was highlighted in the early stages of the pandemic, with up to 20% of patients with COVID-19 reported to have caught the contagion in hospitals, according to NHS figures.


- 16 - THOROUGH CLEANING PRACTICES


When keeping surfaces clean, particularly high-touch areas, removing pathogens is a crucial step in breaking any potential chain of infection, achieving it throughout busy care homes however, is not straightforward. Indeed, it oſten requires adaptive cleaning strategies that not only consider the increased demands placed on cleaning staff, but also tailor them to the requirements of any given environment, by implementing the most effective solution to meet infection- prevention targets.


Central to any effective cleaning and infection control regime is having a critical understanding of the most appropriate cleaning materials for the task at hand. Unfortunately, when it comes to infection control, not all products are created equal. A prime example of this is in the choice of traditional woven cloths and cleaning materials.


Given the high proportion of high-traffic surfaces in care homes, spray and wipe systems are quite oſten the solution of choice when it comes to maintaining cleanliness and preventing the spread of infection. However, there are several drawbacks, such as possible overspray, difficulty in covering surfaces (particularly the undersides of bedrails), and generation of atomised disinfectant in the air that can subsequently be breathed by workers and patients, according to the American Journal of Infection. Whilst spraying surfaces and wiping leaves little dwell time and surfaces are oſten not fully sanitised or disinfected.


Even those using pre-impregnated systems have faced challenges, primarily in supply with many suppliers out of


www.tomorrowscare.co.uk


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