The upgrading of buildings, facilities and decontamination equipment, requires primary care local decontamination units to have appropriate operational procedures in place. The primary care local decontamination units are required to demonstrate formal control of their decontamination activities with appropriate record keeping and documented procedures. This was reaffirmed in SGHD/CDO (2007)1.
The Decontamination Document System (DDS) is part of a strategic implementation plan to achieve compliant local decontamination of reusable medical devices. HDL (2005)1 and HDL (2006)40 states that NHS Boards must ensure all primary care settings (both directly managed and independent practitioners) achieve compliance with the ‘Glennie’ Technical Requirements. SEHD/CDO (2009)1, listed timescales and action plans for compliance for decontamination of dental instruments in Primary Care. The action plans were based on whether a Local Decontamination Unit (LDU) was being developed in a practice, through an extension, moving to new premises or the practice opted for using a central decontamination unit.
DDS is designed to:
- assist primary care practices* throughout Scotland to develop a practice specific decontamination policy with supporting procedures which comply with the National Decontamination Technical Requirements (NDTRs) and best practice guidance for the management of medical devices and decontamination of reusable medical devices;
- provide operational support to the primary care units undertaking local decontamination of reusable medical devices;
- provide uniform operational procedures for decontamination in the range of circumstances that pertain in primary care;
- optimise the management of medical devices and the decontamination process in units which have not yet achieved compliant equipment/facilities.
*Primary care practices cover General Dental Practice (GDP), Orthodontics, General Medical Practice (GMP), Podiatry, Optometry and Family Planning Clinics.
A pilot study of DDS was conducted in 2009 to ensure that the system was fit for purpose, effective, feasible and easy to use. Feedback from this study has been used to update the system and its documentation.
As part of this initiative NHS Education Scotland (NES) and Health Facilities Scotland (HFS) are supporting the development of an e-learning package which provides appropriate education for staff undertaking decontamination and managing medical devices.
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