Healthcare duct cleaning: Stop the spread of seasonal viruses in your healthcare centre

 

It’s no secret, especially among those working in healthcare, that winter is the busiest season within the healthcare industry. During the winter of 2018 18,000 patients a day arrived in hospitals and needing emergency admission.

In 2019, we went into winter with over 100,000 vacancies within the NHS. Waiting times had still not recovered from the previous year, despite the usual summertime low, and whilst Johnson has pledged to deliver 50,000 more nurses and 50 million more GP surgery appointments, maybe taking action a little closer to home is the fastest way to make a difference.

By making sure we all do our own bit to reduce the spread of infection in our own healthcare centres, GP surgeries and hospitals, we can reduce the amount of staff that need time off sick and minimise the number of patients infected with these airborne viruses.

 

The significance of duct cleaning in reducing the spread of germs

Many healthcare centres, hospitals and GP surgeries rely on air ducts to provide the correct ventilation, humidity and temperatures for their staff and patients.

With viruses able to spread through airborne particles, keeping ducts clean can reduce the amount of bacteria carried on air travelling through ducting, lessening the extent of the spread of infection around healthcare centres.

In some more advanced ducting systems, air temperatures and air pressures are used to manage the movement of airborne particles around hospitals or isolation units, however most systems aren’t this advanced. This means regular duct cleaning is the only way that the spread of airborne bacteria and viruses can be minimised.

 

Your legal duct cleaning responsibilities

Aside from the responsibility we all feel under to maintain cleanliness for public health, there is a legal duty to keep air ducts clean too. The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 places a “common duty of care” on employers or those responsible for premises to protect employees and others who may use or visit the premises.

In case you feel this is a little ambiguous, the Workplace Health, Safety & Welfare Regulations 1992 states that “effective and suitable provision shall be made to ensure that every enclosed workplace is ventilated by a sufficient quantity of fresh or purified air”. And to clarify further, the associated Approved Code of Practice which gives ‘practical advice on legal compliance’ explains that mechanical ventilation systems (including air conditioning systems) should be regularly and adequately cleaned. They should also be properly tested and maintained to ensure that they are kept free from anything which may contaminate the air. (ACOP6 (52): Regulation 6).

However, accessing ducting to conduct a thorough clean isn’t an easy task. Our specialist duct cleaning teams have the skills, knowledge and tools to thoroughly clean the ducting around your healthcare facility, reducing the opportunity for bacteria to grow and viruses to travel.

If you’d like to find out more about how Rainbow can help you meet your legal obligations and reduce the chance of spreading viruses, such as Influenza or Norovirus, by regularly cleaning your healthcare ducting system, contact us on our 24/7 hotline by calling 01624 422 488. With over 60 branches of Rainbow around the UK, we’re bound to have a branch near you.

Sources include:

https://www.kingsfund.org.uk/blog/2019/12/five-reasons-why-nhs-winter-may-be-different

https://ductbusters.co.uk/legal-requirement-duct-cleaning

03/03/20