This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pulse june2020 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

The waiting game

Cleaning your practice: What to do after a case

NHS England guidance

First published on NHS England website

Environmental cleaning following a possible case

Once a possible case has been transferred from the primary care premises, the room where the patient was placed should not be used, the room door should remain shut, with windows opened and the air conditioning switched off until it has been cleaned with detergent and disinfectant. Once this process has been completed, the room can be put back in use immediately.

Preparation

The responsible person undertaking the cleaning with detergent and disinfectant should be familiar with these processes and procedures:

  • collect all cleaning equipment and clinical waste bags before entering the room
  • any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of as single use items
  • before entering the room, perform hand hygiene then put on a disposable plastic apron and gloves

On entering the room

  • keep the door closed with windows open to improve airflow and ventilation whilst using detergent and disinfection products
  • bag all items that have been used for the care of the patient as clinical waste, for example, contents of the waste bin and any consumables that cannot be cleaned with detergent and disinfectant
  • remove any fabric curtains or screens and bag as infectious linen
  • close any sharps containers wiping the surfaces with either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 parts per million (ppm) available chlorine (av.cl.) or a neutral purpose detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.)

Cleaning process

Use disposable cloths or paper roll or disposable mop heads, to clean and disinfect all hard surfaces or floor or chairs or door handles or reusable non-invasive care equipment or sanitary fittings in the room, following one of the 2 options below:

  1. use either a combined detergent disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 parts per million (ppm) available chlorine (av.cl.)
  2. or a neutral purpose detergent followed by disinfection (1000 ppm av.cl.)
    • follow manufacturer’s instructions for dilution, application and contact times for all detergents and disinfectants
    • any cloths and mop heads used must be disposed of as single use items

Cleaning and disinfection of reusable equipment

Clean and disinfect any reusable non-invasive care equipment, such as blood pressure monitors, digital thermometers, glucometers, that are in the room prior to their removal.

Clean all reusable equipment systematically from the top or furthest away point.

Carpeted flooring and soft furnishings

If carpeted floors or item cannot withstand chlorine-releasing agents, consult the manufacturer’s instructions for a suitable alternative to use, following or combined with detergent cleaning.

On leaving the room

  • discard detergent or disinfectant solutions safely at disposal point
  • all waste from suspected contaminated areas should be removed from the room and quarantined until patient test results are known (this may take 48 hours); if the patient is confirmed to have COVID-19 further advice should be sought from the local HPT
  • clean, dry and store re-usable parts of cleaning equipment, such as mop handles
  • remove and discard PPE as clinical waste
  • perform hand hygiene

Cleaning of communal areas

If a suspected case spent time in a communal area, for example, a waiting area or toilet facilities, then these areas should be cleaned with detergent and disinfectant (as above) as soon as practicably possible, unless there has been a blood or body fluid spill which should be dealt with immediately. Once cleaning and disinfection have been completed, the area can be put back in use.

Source: NHS England

Related images

  • GP consultation room - online

Readers' comments (1)

  • A patient was seen in our practice on 9/3/20 and was admitted to ITU on 15/3/20 with confirmed COVID 19. what shall we do? The doctor who saw the patient has no symptoms

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say