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Now more than ever, it is essential that every care home owner and employee is fully aware of the key areas to clean, to keep residents, staff and visitors alike safe.
Since the discovery of COVID-19 and the horrendous number of lives lost within the care home setting, it is essential that cleaning is completed the highest possible standard every single day, even with the roll out of a vaccine now underway.
As the rules allow family to visit once more and footfall increases, so does the risk of the spread and transfer of germs and bacteria.
With the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections focusing on cleaning as a key area of the running of a successful care home, a clear schedule and routines need to be in place. However a cleaning scheudle targetting the wrong areas, or one not focusing on the most high risk areas often enough, is simply not an option.
Effective cleaning arrangements should be in place which ensure that care homes are kept clean, tidy and free from offensive odours throughout. This ensures that premises provide a high standard of accommodation and both a pleasant environment for residents to live in and for staff to work in.
Effective cleaning will also help to achieve high standards of infection control, particularly during outbreaks of illness, as long as key areas to clean are targeted.
It is however very important that a care home keeps a homely feel, which it is for the residents. They need to feel calm and relaxed, with cleaning being as invisible as possible. As long as residents know good cleaning processes are in place, that is all that is required from their point of view.
The purpose of this blog is to highlight 11 key areas to clean on a very regular basis in your care home.
When thinking of key areas to clean in a care home, we need to consider those that have the highest risk of harbouring and spreading bacteria and germs. Door handles are touched by many people throughout the day, including residents, staff and visitors. It is therefore essential that door handles are not only sanitised in the evening, but continually throughout the day. In addition to this, regular hand washing should be encouraged by all.
Much like door handles, handles will be touched throughout the day by many people and are at high risk of harbouring and spreading germs. The same is true of stairlifts, which various residents will sit on and hold on to the handles throughout the day. These are a key area to clean throughout the day, with a suitable sanitiser.
Regular cleaning of bed frames is essential not only to keep free of dust and prevent any dust allergies, but sanitisation will also keep them safe and clean when touched by residents when getting in and out of bed, as well as members of staff assisting.
Wheelchairs can be used by numerous residents throughout the day. It is therefore essential that they are sanitised fully between uses by different residents, and that frames and wheels are cleaned and inspected for damage periodically also. They should be high on the list of key areas to clean.
Perhaps a more obvious choice when it comes to key areas to clean in a care home are toilets and washrooms. These can be used by many residents throughout the day, and the risk of spreading germs and bacteria is obvious.
You should ensure that there are detergent wipes available in each toilet. Throughout the day you should check levels and replenish soap and hand towels as needed. You should ensure there is no limescale buildup as part of your cleaning schedule.
Another high touch point and therefore key area to clean in a care home setting is light switches, pull cords and similar. They should be sanitised throughout the day with a suitable product. They are a firm favourite in our 11 key areas to clean in care homes, and rightly so.
Whether your tables for residents are on wheels, on frames or larger static tables, they are a key area to clean and should be regularly cleaned. This should always be the case when a mobile table is finished with by one resident, before passing to the next.
Floors require regular cleaning which should take place daily, with immediate action taken in response to any spillages. A suitable detergent should be used to kill any germs.
With regard to carpets, periodic professional carpet cleaning should be completed to deeper clean the carpets and remove the risk of odour, and any nasties hiding within the carpet.
Ledges around your care home should be scheduled for regular cleaning. This will prevent the build up of any dust, and sanitising any ledges that are touched on a regular basis will also prevent the risk of the spread of diseases.
Bath hoists are a key area to clean, and should be cleaned and fully sanitised after each use to keep them clean and safe for the next user. A suitable sanitising product should be used to complete this task.
Our final key area to clean is medicine trolleys and cupboards. The contents of these are there to protect residents, so it is essential that where the medicines are kept is clean, sterile and safe.
Every area in a care home setting can be considered one of the key areas to clean, and rightly so. Detailed cleaning is required throughout a care home, with key areas focused on throughout the day.
The easiest way to ensure your cleaning is CQC compliant and completed to the highest possible standard is to outsource your cleaning to a good commercial cleaning company. It is essential that any company you select is aware of CQC requirements, and fully understand the need for high levels of cleaner vetting to ensure full safeguarding. They will fully understand the key areas to clean in your setting.
At Green Fox Cleaning we are experienced at transferring existing cleaners to our company to protect their jobs under TUPE legislation.
Our experience in providing cleaning services to both the retirement living sector (click here to learn more) and healthcare setting (click here to learn more) gives us the perfect knowledge and experience to clean within a care home setting.
Click here to learn more about Green Fox, and request a free, no obligation quote for cleaning services at your care home.