Planning a Sluice Room
These notes are about controlling infection.
Guidelines and monitoring procedures are being progressively imposed to develop
quality care awareness.
The control of infection covers a wide range of procedures in adult care, both domestic
and Nursing where the transfer of infection between residents in group living is a
natural hazard. Human waste is a significant source of this risk, but managed routines particularly in the dirty utility room will reduce any cross contamination to acceptable levels.
We have produced this information to provide a brief guide to assist those concerned
with the planning and equipping of sluice rooms.
All establishments concerned with care, regardless of size, have to provide facilities to
ensure the hygienic disposal of human waste.
Ideally a sluice room should be planned at the outset just like the kitchen and the
laundry. The number of sluice rooms will depend on the number of floors and
the layout of the building. The functions and the services required will have to
be taken into consideration, such as:
Hot and cold water inlets
Power supplies and voltages
Soil outlets and vents
Floor and wall finishes
Remember that a sluice room can be used 24 hours a day, so a site should be chosen
where noise from water or clattering hardware is not a nuisance.
Wherever possible the room should be divided into ‘clean’ and ‘dirty’ areas. Each
room needs a sink, preferably with a drainer. Taps are a source of contact by hands
and automatic taps or those with elbow levers are preferred. Push button or foot
operated soap dispensers are recommended. Dedicated hand washing facilities are needed.
The term ‘Sluice Room’ is used loosely to define a utensil washer/disinfector with a back up of a WC and a designated sink for washing.
The automatic washer/disinfector for commode bucket, bedpan and urinals is, however, a far more sophisticated piece of hardware than has long been the norm in NHS hospitals. The new generation of machines can carry out the functions of both slop hopper and washer/disinfector.
The term ‘disinfection’ is used to describe the ‘bug kill’ cycle. Moist heat is used from an incorporated steam generator to heat each utensil. It is NOT liquid from a bottle.
Our machines have been engineered over years of testing, establishing effective cleaning and disinfecting oft the specific utensils used in human waste disposal.
Designed for a function, normally they will accommodate bedpans, commode buckets, urine bottles or various bowls/utensils. The machines open with a pneumatic foot pedal to give the operator full hand control of the receptacle. They have cold and hot washes, the cold wash removes the soil, the hot wash removes extra stubborn waste, then items are disinfected. The minimum requirement is 80 deg. C for 60 seconds. The machines usually attain 90 deg. C+ for 70 seconds, followed by a cold rinse to cool the receptacle. Interlocks prevent opening during the cycle.
Utensils removed from the machine should be placed on racks adjacent to the machine - this is the clean area.
If used soiled items have to be left prior to washing they should have a separate ‘dwelling
place’ - not in the clean area. A trolley or stainless steel worktop should be provided.