Compliance: How are we so close but so far?

Aura Infection Control Ltd - Keeping you up to date and advised on Care Quality Commission inspections

Another week, another load of CQC inspections have taken place with some practices meeting compliance standards…..but not all.

I read with great interest the CQC reports and look for standout actions and procedures as well as those falling short as I believe sharing knowledge and information is powerful and ultimately helps us all.

Best Intentions

As I was reading, I  noticed a theme to some visits that had not quite hit the mark. It seems all the attention on infection control and compliance, decon rooms and decontamination has had some great effect – a lot of the practices had put in place some great protocols but had fallen short as the protocols had not been effectively embedded. The best intentions were clear, but poor implementation had meant when the CQC came knocking the practices had missed the mark.

I should explain…

An infection control policy ( that probably took a long time to design and write) was in place… but not being followed.

Transport boxes being used to deliver contaminated instruments from the surgery to the Decon room… but not lockable so ultimatly providing no protection to staff or patients.

A separate Decontamination room ( the holy grail for some practices) available… but not being used routinely

Heavy duty gloves provided for manual cleaning to protect the staff from injury and contamination… but not being changed before handling clean instruments therefor putting patient safety at risk.

Pouches being used to store instruments … but not being date stamped rendering them pointless.

So close… but so far from achieving compliance.

The end of the rainbow

This raises an important point about management of the Infection Control in a practice – when is it done? When can you stop?

When you have written all the policies, designed all the protocols and trained all the staff???

Simply – no – it never ends… once the processes are agreed and working we must test, challenge, audit and review them. The end of the rainbow is always in sight but the pot of gold is not waiting.

What do i do?

Use the IPS audit tool, CQC visit reports or a infection control audit and walk your practice like the CQC do, look at it with fresh eyes and test how rigorously the policies that you designed and implemented are being applied in the day to day running of the practice. You should see the same gaps and issues that the CQC will, but you have given yourself the chance to note this down and put into place actions to address them.

Finally, when you have done the audit and found some (or maybe no) issues to address – share them, share what you have learnt with your colleagues and team, in meetings locally and regionally. By doing this, every developmental point on your audit can become someone else’s opportunity to learn.

We don’t fail, we either win, or we learn.

Challenge your practice to an audit and see how close…. or far you are from compliance.

Originally posted 2016-03-04 11:00:31. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Laura Edgar

About Laura Edgar

Managing Director of Aura Infection Control Ltd, qualified in Dental Decontamination and passionate about sharing knowledge and education. Qualified Adult training tutor and experienced in Business Management and Strategy development.