The National Infection Prevention and Control Manual (NIPCM) provides mandatory guidance on decontamination of care equipment and the care area along with literature reviews.
Further guidance can be found in the Decontamination section of the Compendium of Healthcare Associated Infection Guidance.
Read our publications related to decontamination below:
- A-Z Template for Decontamination of Re-usable Communal Patient Equipment
- Best methods for removal and destruction of pathogens
- Guidance for decontamination of semi-critical ultrasound probes
- NHSScotland Guidance for the interpretation and clinical management of endoscopy final rinse water
- NHSScotland Risk Based Recommendations for the Decontamination of Semi-invasive Ultrasound Probes: Risk of infection following semi-invasive ultrasound procedures in Scotland, 2010 to 2016
- NSS Time to clean report
- Patient equipment and environment cleaning compliance monitoring tool
- Process Document: Existing and emerging technologies used for decontamination of the healthcare environment
- Report on National Time to clean a Bedspace Study
- Roles and responsibilities for reusable patient care equipment and environmental decontamination
- Routine and terminal cleaning of isolation rooms and cohort areas in healthcare settings, and terminal cleaning of wards following outbreaks or increased incidence of infection
- Summary report from pilot of patient equipment and environment compliance monitoring tool
- Time to Clean: Estimated time spent by healthcare workers on decontamination of communal reusable patient care equipment
- UK and International Review of Alternative Approaches to Environmental and Equipment decontamination
Read our literature reviews and practice recommendations:
Read our literature reviews and practice recommendations on existing and emerging technologies used for decontamination of the healthcare environment:
Cleaning is defined as a process which physically removes infectious agents and the organic matter on which they thrive but doesn't necessarily destroy infectious agents. Cleaning must be performed before disinfecting or sterilising an item as any residue left on the instrument can affect the disinfection or sterilisation.
Disinfection is a process used to reduce the number of viable microorganisms but might not inactivate some infectious agents. It can be performed using heat or chemicals.
Sterilisation is a process that makes an object free from viable micro-organisms. It can be performed using heat or chemicals.