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Shake 'n' vac your way out of this one

While the GP profession is turned on its head by Lord Darzi and his ruinous plans for general practice, the RCGP turns our attention to more mundane things. Namely, the state of your surgery’s floors.

By Nigel Praities

While the GP profession is turned on its head by Lord Darzi and his ruinous plans for general practice, the RCGP turns our attention to more mundane things. Namely, the state of your surgery's floors.

Take a look now. Any spillages, dirty marks or stains? Carpet instead of washable vinyl? Hmm. You could be endangering your patients health, according to an alarming article in this month's RCGP News.

PCTs are looking at employing infection control methods used in hospital in general practice, says the authors of the article from the University of Oxford. While they admit there is little direct evidence patients can be infected from micro-organisms lying in wait on consulting room floors, their article urges all GPs to stay on the side of caution.

Make sure all your carpets are easily cleanable, all surfaces (including children's toys, blood pressure cuffs, and that well-thumbed issue of Horse and Hound) are cleaned regularly. Ensure chairs are adequately spaced in the waiting room, all blood is mopped up immediately and, for goodness sake, make that child vomit outside of the surgery unless you want everyone to die.

A sage message for everyone that infection control starts at home – or in your waiting room at least – but in these times of pay freezes and polyclinics, it seems a bit short-sighted to focus on shake ‘n' vac while general practice burns.

Pulse team blog

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