Decon Pete – things to consider when setting up a squat practice

decon peteDecon Pete discusses things to consider when you’re setting up a new squat practice and where to place your local decontamination unit.

I’m asked many times about what is required when setting up a new squat practice. Or what to consider when carrying out any major refurbishment work in an existing practice.

Whichever it is that you are choosing to do, there are some key factors that you need to consider to be fully compliant.

In both cases, the first thing that needs considering is the introduction of a local decontamination unit (LDU). This is for the carrying out of all decontamination of reusable instruments.

The space that you choose needs to be large enough to accommodate all of the equipment required. And to service the number of surgeries that your practice will have.

When choosing the space it’s important to have in mind any future plans you may have. By doing so this can help to mitigate any future costs in having to adapt your LDU to accommodate the additional equipment needed.

Designing your LDU

HTM 01-05 section 1.3 states the following:

The requirements described in this guidance are intended as a clear indication of good practice and designed to exert upward pressure on the performance of dental practices. They will help to demonstrate to patients and those observing quality standards in dentistry that the local provider of a dental service is capable of operating in a safe and responsible manner with respect to decontamination of instruments and dental equipment. Where new practices are commissioned or new premises contemplated, it is advised that the full best practice provisions of this guidance be utilised wherever reasonably practicable.

Best Practice requires the implementation of the LDU, washer disinfector. And also the storage of all dental instruments within the clean side of the room.

Whether you chose to design the LDU yourself or consult a specialist company its important that you allow for the following specifications of the room:

  • Instrument set down area
  • Two sinks, with no overflows and surgical style taps
  • Thermal washer disinfector
  • Inspection area with illuminated magnifying lamp
  • Autoclaves with at least one type B (vacuum) unit
  • Storage area for pouched dental instruments
  • Hand washing sink, with no overflow and surgical style taps
  • The work surface should be a solid material with no silicone sealant
  • Airflow should go from clean to dirty (extraction and supply 10-12 ACH).

Policies and procedures

It’s important that you make sure that all of your policies and procedures are complete and up to date.

There are a total of 30+ policies that practices require. With many of these needing review on an annual basis. The policies will form the basis of any inspection from local authority audits. Practices must read them and all members of staff understand them.

Make sure that you have a named decontamination lead and that they receive all the training required to fulfil this important position.

The role of the decontamination lead is to manage and maintain all of the procedures required within the decontamination room.

This will also include the full management of testing and validation records for the various pieces of equipment used.

Research the equipment that you would like to purchase. Work with a supplier or distributor that can fully project manage the implementation of your dream practice.


If you need any help or advise then please get in touch with me by email at [email protected] or 07581309835 or visit the website www.deconpete.co.uk.

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Catch the previous Decon Pete columns:

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