Decon Pete – the importance of a decontamination lead

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This month Decon Pete discusses the importance of nominating a decontamination lead for the safety and smooth day-to-day runnings of your practice.

Whether you are setting up a new practice or owning an existing one, it’s incredibly important that you have a nominated decontamination lead.  Sometimes this is often overlooked and, from my experience, also left to the practice manager to deal with.

HTM and UK guidance states: ‘The practice should have a nominated lead member of staff responsible for infection control and decontamination.’

It goes on to say: ‘The Code of Practice makes it a requirement that an individual is given the responsibility for infection control and decontamination. This person should have the experience and authority to perform this task and should be accountable to the registered manager.’

‘An integral part’

The decontamination lead role is an important leadership position within the practice and is also an integral part in ensuring that the practice remains fully compliant.

Whomever you decide to undertake this position it is advised that they are a suitably experienced member of the team.

In addition, it is important that they are given appropriate training in order to fulfil their role along with demonstrating competencies in their duties and suitable training records are kept and maintained.

The training that is given should be supported by defined learning outcomes and competencies.

For example, it should include an understanding of:

  • The whole decontamination process
  • Their roles and those of others
  • The need for infection control and all relevant infection control policies and procedures
  • Periodic testing where appropriate.

Designated person

In addition, it can also make sense for the decontamination lead to also adopt the role of designated person.

The designated person’s role and responsibility is to ‘act as the interface between the practice and support services supplied externally, including service, maintenance and testing.’

As a result, the person that undertakes this role will have a vast list of jobs to undertake.

These jobs are not limited to ensuring:

  • All testing and validation records for decontamination equipment are maintained
  • IPC standards are maintained
  • All instruments are stored correctly and correct procedures are followed
  • Safe and appropriate transportation of dirty and clean instruments
  • DUWL/ suction line cleaning and disinfection protocols are adhered to
  • Decontamination equipment is serviced/validated and PVI checked in accordance with manufacturers guidance.

Maintaining safety for all

The decontamination lead will also aid, with the help of the registered manager, in ensuring that the practice is kept up to date with the latest IPC guidance.

Similarly, having a nominated lead within your practice not only helps to maintain safety for all personal, patients and visitors. In addition, it helps with the smooth day-to-day running of your surgeries.

If you need any help or assistance with ensuring that your nominated lead is adequately trained, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Email [email protected] or visit the website to view our Decon Lead Pricing Plan

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Catch the previous Decon Pete columns:

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