Infection Control Policy
Statement of intent
This policy should be read in conjunction with infection prevention procedures. For safety of our patients, visitors and team, this practice follows the latest guidelines and research on infection prevention. We comply with the ‘Essential Quality Requirements’ from the Department of Health and have a written assessment and plan to move towards ‘best practice’. We take universal precautions for all patients, to minimise all of the known and unknown risks of cross infection.
We follow the latest decontamination guidelines from the department of Health for new and used instruments. Stored instruments are protected against recontamination. The treatment rooms and all equipment are decontaminated appropriately between patients and at the end of every clinical session. Defects found during the cleaning of equipment are immediately reported to the decontamination lead.
Staff involved in decontamination and clinical work, have evidence of current immunisation for Hepatitis B.
Items sent to the laboratory and equipment sent for repair
All items dispatched to the laboratory are washed and disinfected after removal from the mouth and items received from the laboratory are washed and disinfected prior to fitting. Equipment is decontaminated prior to being sent for repair.
Whenever possible we use single-use instruments, which are disposed of after use on a patient.
To minimise the risk of blood borne viruses all staff are trained in avoidance and management of an inoculation injury. Staff at risk of blood borne virus exposure, have an occupational Health examination and access to Post Exposure Prophylaxis if necessary.
The practice takes all reasonable measures to minimise the risk of exposure of staff, patients and visitors to Legionella in accordance with existing guidance. The practice carries out regular legionella risk assessments, water tests and audits. Flushing of hot and cold outlets is routinely undertaken by the practice. Records of all legionella control activities are maintained and reviewed at the annual management policy review.
All staff maintain a high standard of personal hygiene including hand hygiene, restricted wearing of jewellery and clean clinical clothing.
Personal Protective Equipment
All team members follow the guidelines for personal protective equipment. These include masks, gloves, protective eyewear, clinical attire and suitable shoes.
Clinical staff are trained how to manage an accidental spillage of a hazardous substance and how to follow our emergency arrangements.
Waste is carefully handled and disposed of by appropriate carriers according to the current legislation.
Dental unit waterlines undergo disinfection, flushing and maintenance to minimise the risk of bio contamination. Practice water is inspected and tested as necessary to maintain water quality.
Each member of the team undergoes regular training and review, and has a responsibility to ensure a safe working environment for all. Training includes the principles of infection prevention, the use of decontamination equipment and materials, the daily inspection and testing of equipment and the maintenance of records.
We audit and review infection prevention procedures every year, with the aim of continual improvement in standards and to update this policy and procedures as necessary.