National specifications for cleanliness: care homes
Good infection prevention and control are essential to ensure that people who use health and social care services receive safe and effective care. Effective prevention and control of infection must be part of everyday practice and be applied consistently by everyone. Since 2001 for hospitals, and 2009 for ambulance trusts, a national specification for cleanliness has been available. These non-mandatory documents are designed to assist providers in ensuring their cleaning services address infection risks and provide a cleaning service which meets the required standards. They have been widely adopted – either in full or in principle. This version has been produced to assist care homes. Nothing contained within this document is mandatory, and individual providers will need to take a view on the extent to which they should be applied. In developing these specifications, regard has been had at all times for the principle of ‘proportionality’ – which recognises that care homes aim to provide a place where people feel at home and furthermore that in some cases the specific aim will be to support people to be independent in a homely environment, and to have a choice over their daily life. Arrangements to keep the environment clean must therefore take this into account.