Sluice Room Servicing – Prevention is always better than cure.

Never has it been more important to stop the infection before it gets a hold and rips through an institution. The pandemic is unprecedented, it has stretched the NHS and our social care system to its limits with seemingly no let-up for those who work within the sector. This article outlines how regular sluice room servicing will help minimise the risk of infection.

How does sluice room servicing minimise the risk of infection?

All the systems and processes within your care setting will be about effective infection control.  Some of them are cumbersome and time-consuming, but necessary. Lives depend on it.  Now is more important than ever to stay on top of your sluice room servicing. If you maintain your sluice machine regularly, you can avoid the additional workload headaches let alone additional infection risk of a preventable malfunction.

Any sluice room is a focal point for infection risk. There are over 100 viruses, including  Covid-19, which can result from human waste. Containing and removing these types of viruses before they take hold can all take place within a sluice room. The pathogens stopped in their tracks through safe hygienic disposal.

It is easy to take the machines in the sluice room for granted when they are working normally. It is so easy to put the service contract at the bottom of the to-do pile while other tasks seem more urgent – this is especially true when budgets already under pressure pre-pandemic have been squeezed further. This is a false economy. An easily preventable fault could be avoided altogether through the regular maintenance of sluice room equipment.

The implications of not servicing sluice room equipment

Emergency call outs are never ideal – they always seem to have a knack of occurring at the worst possible time. A fault can mean that staff are having to find alternatives for hygienic disposal by using an alternative machine at a different location or washing by hand. This adds to increased staff workloads as well as much higher contamination risks. A headache for both management and their teams as they battle to mitigate the risk. This is even more true if the shutdown is unscheduled and unplanned.

The CQC advise on regular sluice room servicing although not a requirement.

The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Regulations 2014: Regulation 15 states:

“the premises where care and treatment are delivered are clean, suitable for the intended purpose, maintained and where required, appropriately located, and that the equipment that is used to deliver care and treatment is clean, suitable for the intended purpose, maintained, stored securely and used properly.”

It seems that a service contract in place will be taken into account when the CQC considers the all-important quality rating at the next inspection. Certainly, a contract in place demonstrates a duty of care. Find out more about our sluice room servicing service.

The money-saving impact of sluice room servicing

Machinery breaking down isn’t the only factor when considering the benefits of a service contract for your sluice room. Poorly maintained machines may well not be operating correctly. The correct temperatures might not be reached to eradicate bacteria. This fault is not easily spotted by staff until an infection outbreak of c-difficile has erupted. The service team will check the temperatures routinely at each service and make sure that the machines are disposing of all waste efficiently.  This will help to prevent pipe blockages and other maintenance issues further down the road which in the end can be much more costly.

Saving money in the critically underfunded social care and overstretched NHS has never been more important. There is little money in the kitty for new equipment purchases. The issue is how to save money without endangering patient safety. At Stanbridge, we understand the importance of repair and maintenance. We do not believe in a throwaway and disposable mentality if we can avoid it – it is bad news for the environment in a global climate emergency and bad news for the budget. Our clients, some of whom have been with us for decades, since our inception, in fact, are still using the same machines which they took delivery on some 18 years ago. Since we manufacture in the UK, getting spare parts to where they need to be in a timely fashion is not an issue for us. This has been critically important as global supply chains have come under severe pressure firstly from Brexit and secondly from the pandemic. A service contract will considerably extend the lifetime of your machines saving both the planet and your bottom line.

Preventative measures are critical to avoiding reputational damage from an infection outbreak within your care environment, so too is retaining a good score with the CQC. Through sluice room maintenance, and thorough staff training in infection prevention measures you and your team are putting the necessary steps in place to maintain a safe caring environment for the future.

To have a conversation with our team regarding sluice room servicing, servicing intervals or custom servicing packages, contact us today.

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Stanbridge Ltd
Unit 78, Powder Mill Lane

Tel: 01689 806500

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