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Lack of decontamination areas for nurses

11th May 2009

A survey of 2,000 nurses by the Royal College of Nursing has found over a third (37%) do not have the use of a room to clean equipment in.

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The survey also found that 34% of nurses had never received any formal instruction in how to decontaminate equipment and a third had to use a bathroom for cleaning apparatus.

40% of nurses said the place in which they worked did not provide 24 hour cleaning services.

The Department of Health said it was up to each trust to ensure the right options for cleaning were available.

Dr Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said having appropriate cleaning areas and storage was vital to protect patients from life-threatening infections.

He added: "It's shocking that some nurses have no choice but to store equipment in hospital bathrooms. People need to recognise that fighting infection is about much more than just hand washing."

A Department of Health spokesperson said: "We have made substantial investment - an additional £270m a year by 2010/2011 - for the NHS to tackle healthcare associated infections."

"Trusts must make adequate arrangements for decontamination, out-of-hours cleaning and staff training in infection prevention and control." 

 

 

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