All NHS boards are required to have an alphabetical list (A to Z) of reusable (communal) equipment that includes the approach to decontamination (NHSScotland Code of Practice).
Throughout NHSScotland the content, structure and usage of A to Zs vary. Many are cumbersome with an extensive list of equipment and consequently not used locally.
HPS were requested by the National Advisory Group (HAI Task Force) to ascertain what frontline healthcare workers would find helpful to assist in improving compliance with care equipment decontamination locally. In preparation HPS conducted Senior Charge Nurse Focus groups to ascertain what frontline healthcare staff would find helpful to assist in achieving this locally. This revealed that they would like an A to Z that is pertinent to their area, as different ward/clinical areas use different equipment.
HPS has produced a template that is designed to be populated locally by frontline staff such as senior charge nurses and should be supported by Infection Prevention and Control Staff if specialist advice is required. The template can be used in conjunction with the principles laid out in the National Infection Prevention and Control manual - Safe Management of Care Equipment
The A to Z template is designed to promote consistency of practice across NHS boards however it is not mandatory and if NHS boards have their own, locally devised A to Zs which evidence and improve compliance with care equipment decontamination they can choose to continue to use these.