Improving Infection Control through Collaborative Working

Clear Trace speak at National Radiographers’ Conference

The Care Quality Commission can shut you down for poor infection control

“Never do harm to anyone”

At the centre of the Hippocratic Oath lies a small sentence that his fundamental to our work at Clear Trace. As infection control specialists it is no surprise to us that the CQC take hygienic cleaning procedures so seriously. Any health care provider can be placed in special measures, or even closed, if the management team are not deemed to be consistently meeting their infection control obligations.

Defining ‘infection control’

At Clear Trace we look well beyond normal house-keeping and focus on destroying pathogenic micro-organisms that can often remain, even when an area looks visibly clean. Our processes represent a gold standard in infection control cleaning – we developed the standards ourselves and worked hard to gain the ISO stamp of approval.

Once we had that, we focused on making sure our cleaning teams were carrying out these procedures every step of the way, to maintain the levels of cleanliness our clients expect. This is so much easier now that our purpose-built infection control tracking software is in place and in use across the UK.

What gets in the way of effective infection control?

The working life of an Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Cleaning Technician can be a lonely one. Often our work is carried out after normal working hours when all the Medical staff, Radiographers or Ambulance staff have packed up and gone home.

Apart from being on site alone, the main disadvantage of this is not getting the opportunity to meet and chat with the users of the facilities we work on. This means we often miss out on the chance to explain what we do and see if it could be changed or improved to better deliver a clean and safe environment for our clients and their service users.

Working in industry silos is one of the worst ways to support joined-up working in the control of infection. If we don’t understand how clients work, and they don’t understand how we operate, things can get missed.

So when Clear Trace were asked to speak at a national Radiographers conference organised by a client who is one of the largest private healthcare providers in the UK, we welcomed the opportunity to meet people who use scanning and diagnostic equipment every day.

Improving infection control through collaborative working.

The most beneficial thing about working with Radiographers at the conference, was that we gained so much in terms of mutual understanding. Specialist medical staff are always under extreme time and resource pressure. The last thing they need is another thing to think about.

But in conversation, you could see that it was becoming clear to them, how fundamental hygienic cleaning is to overall service levels. If a patient were to leave with an increased risk of infection, we would all have failed in our duty.
As more and more opportunities arise to work collaboratively across health and care services, we can all strive for better standards in making sure infection control doesn’t slip through the cracks.

If you would like us to come and talk to your teams about simple ways to improve hygiene levels, please contact us.

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