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This Policy will summarise the arrangements and measures in place to ensure minimal risk of cross-infection while carrying out care duties at a service user’s home:


1. PRINCIPLES OF INFECTION:

1.1 Many infectious diseases are easily spread through normal domestic environments, where bacteria can be nurtured through warm environments and where standards of cleaning / hygiene may be poor. Generally, the most common sources of infection are as follows:


  • Organic matter - excreta / blood / body fluids / exudates from wounds and lesions Stagnant fluids

  • Equipment - dirty kitchen / bathroom equipment

  • Water system - sinks / taps / pipes / drains


1.2 Infections may spread through the following routes:


  • Direct contact - hands / surgical dressings

  • Airborne - organisms in dust / skin scales

  • Droplets - aerosols / sneezes, coughs etc from infected persons

  • Inhalation - nebulizers

  • Food-borne - contaminated food / out-dated foodstuffs

  • Blood-borne - Hepatitis B / needle-stick injury / spillage of contaminated body fluids

  • Insect-borne - ants / flies /mosquitoes / cockroaches, etc



2. ORGANISATION AND MANAGEMENT:


The following principles of Hygiene Management will be applied for domiciliary environments:


2.1 Firstly, it is acknowledged that the service user has the right to live in his / her home in whatever conditions he / she chooses. Notwithstanding, the Organisation’s Care Workers have a duty of care to the service user and to themselves to maintain basic standards of hygiene when working at the service user’s home. Matters of hygiene will be addressed during the preliminary Risk Assessment of the service user’s home environment at the onset of the Contract for Care, reference Policy No 3011. NB In extreme cases, procedures do provide for the withdrawal of the Care Service where the welfare of the Care Worker is deemed to be compromised; Policy No 4305 refers.


2.2 All staff receive training in basic Infection Control which is reflected in the appropriate individual Training Plan, ref. Policy No 1400.



3. CONTROL PROCEDURES:


Routine Control Procedures are promoted for implementation at the service user’s home as precautions for the spread of infection. These are as follows:

3.1 Hand Hygiene:


3.1.1 Hand-washing will be carried out in accordance with Policy No 4207.

3.1.2 All wounds / moist skin conditions will be covered by a waterproof dressing without visible air holes.


3.1.3 Staff with open sores or moist lesions on the hands will not be permitted to engage in personal care duties or handle clinical waste.

3.1.4 As appropriate the principles of Policy No 4205 relating to HIV+ / AIDS will be observed.


3.1.5 As appropriate the principles of Policy No 4206 relating to M.R.S.A. will be observed.



3.2 Waste Disposal:


The Care Worker’s duties will include assistance with the timely and efficient disposal of waste (household and clinical / biohazardous waste, including Sharps) and is addressed in the following documented Policies / Procedures:


Policy No 4204 - Disposal of Waste at the Service User’s Home

Policy No 4208 - Safe Handling of Body Waste



3.3 Cleaning Procedures:


Refer to the following documented Policies:

Policy No 3500 - Assistance with Cleaning & Housework


3.4 Handling an Outbreak of Infection / Infectious Service Users:


Where there are specific infections relating to a service user, the Organisation’s management is responsible for drawing up an Infection Control Plan in conjunction with the service user / advocate. This will identify the steps to be taken to prevent cross-infection during the process of delivering the Care Service, and full records of all such actions will be maintained.


FORMS REFERENCES:

Form No: 4-200 Infection Control in Service Delivery - Individual Service User Record

Form No: 4-212 Work Restrictions for Staff with Infectious Conditions


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