Understanding not just what we do, but how and why we do it is essential for me. So in a series of 'back to the floor' sessions, myself and the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) will be joining our teams, right across our footprint to spend time working shifts with them, to experience first-hand exactly what we do, how and why.
First impressions matter, especially when entering any building, yet alone a healthcare facility…obvious when you think about it.
It is engrained in to my DNA, having worked within the NHS for the past 30 years, in both Primary and Secondary Care, for Acute Hospitals and Primary Care Trusts.
However, what was not so obvious is just now much there is to remember, from which coloured buckets, cloths and products to use, as well as the responsibility on the Domestic Assistant to ensure the areas cleaned are done so in a safe way, to Department of Health regulatory standards.
I arrived for my shift at 07:30 and was greeted by Domestic Team Leader, Katie Philburn-Powell. ‘Back to the floor’ is much more than putting on a branded polo shirt and holding a bucket, it is about getting under the skin of what our workforce do.
After being given a site induction, as well as induction to the products and materials I would need, including which buckets were for which area, a choice form red, blue, green and yellow, as well as what Control of Substances Hazardous to Health (COSHH) guidance is and how we use it to keep ourselves, our clients and their staff, patients and visitors safe; I was ready to start my work!
Incidentally, we daily mop clinical rooms and offices, as well as all public areas including toilets. This is different in acute settings, like at Clifton Hospital, where I will be heading in August.
I’d strongly recommend speaking to Katie, or other Domestic Colleagues and finding out about more about COSHH, as well as National Standards of Healthcare Cleanliness 2021.
You can view the full document by clicking here.
I was tasked with cleaning an office, which involved firstly getting the correct Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on, which in this case were gloves and goggles, to protect my hands and eyes from the chemicals used.
The PPE not only helped to protect my hands from substances and harm, but also was there to help prevent germs and bacteria from my hands being directly transferred onto items being cleaned and used.
Selecting a blue bucket, filling with water and hospec to make the cleaning solution, I got a blue cloth and my work began!
After wiping down all the surfaces and doorframe, I emptied the bin, which was a black bag for general waste. I took care not to put my hand in to the bin, in case of any sharps or other nasties which could be in there.
Once this was replaced, it was on to my favourite task (just don’t tell my wife) the vacuuming.
Making sure the vacuum cleaner had a valid PAT test and checking the wire, safety plug and brushes, it was plug in time!
I thoroughly enjoyed my time working at Ansdell Medical Centre, undertaking Domestic duties.
The hard work of staff like Katie, Phil, Brittney and Trudy ensures that our clients’ facilities are safe and cleaned to the highest standards, each and every day.
The community are the backbone of who we all are. We all have our own community and my time working with Katie and her team has reinforced the importance of our Domestic service within healthcare.
The next time you see me, ask me about buckets!
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