Workplace Hygiene: What Care Home Sectors Can Learn From This Shocking Channel 4 Documentary

Throughout the course of the 2020 pandemic, the Care Home sector has undoubtedly endured a challenging period. With an increased risk to staff and residents, there has been a lack of fundamental government support at all levels, leaving owners and managers with increased challenges.

Infection control is naturally a top priority for Care Homes but never before has the risk been so acute. With a lack of direction and support from the government, the onus is left to the individual homes to determine the best course of action.

An obvious change has been to implement either significantly increased or continual cleaning procedures. However, as ​Channel 4’s Dispatches​ showed on 26 October, whilst this can be effective if carried out perfectly, the results can be highly inconsistent in reality. It also comes at a cost, in terms of both product and labour.

Dispatches looked at continual cleaning procedures undertaken in Tesco, Costa Coffee, hotels and public transport, using ATP testing in a number of sample areas to determine the presence of organic material.

The results were very mixed with an unsettlingly high number of samples showing very high counts of bacteria, despite supposedly being clean. Interestingly, the one testing site which came back with no or very low cases of bacteria was on the London Buses, which happen to be cleaned using OneSpray products proving their superior effectiveness. The conclusion was that whilst the process can work, it leaves open the risk of human error, whether that be missing an area or it simply not being feasible to continually clean every surface.

So, what can you learn from this documentary?

Practicing good workplace hygiene

  1. Start with a policy
    Provide staff with company-wide written workplace hygiene policy. This will help communicate the importance of workplace hygiene and ensures everyone is aware of their responsibilities.
  2. Increase your cleaning regime
    It goes without saying that a regular cleaning routine is a simple yet effective way to improve hygiene and prevent the spread of germs and infection. Provide clean wipes, sanitiser and tissues to help maintain a hygienic workplace.
  3. Train your staff better
    Help improve your staff’s understanding of health and safety by providing training guides,hosting training days, encouraging online training and introducing new products.​ ​Online Infection control training​ ​is available for health care workers through the Australian Government department of Health.
  4. Make use of sanitisers
    Washing hands is the best way to ensure clean hands but in reality the majority of us don’t wash our hands well enough to kill all germs. A study by Michigan State University researchers revealed that only 5% of people successfully wash their hands long enough to kill harmful bacteria.Innovative long-lasting products like ​OneSpray ​offer a solution to significantly mitigate that risk. OneSpray provides protection on skin for up to 24 hours and surfaces for up to 30 days alongside best practice cleaning and hygiene procedures.
  5. Encourage personal hygiene
    Staff should be encouraged to practice personal hygiene habits in the workplace. Remind them of the importance of regular handwashing and use of hand sanitisers in stopping the development and spread of illness and infection.

Remember, sensible hygiene practices are essential in reducing risk to staff and residents in Care Homes. Already supplying into both groups and individual care homes across the UK, we are specialists in the sector and can provide tailored advice to suit your needs.

As an approved distributor of Zoono products, our technical knowledge and understanding of application is unparalleled.

For a free consultation on how we can help keep your staff and residents protected, please visit us ​here​ or contact us on either ​[email protected] or 03300 577 148.

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