A sluice room, also known as a soiled utility room, is a room found in hospitals and extended-care facilities such as nursing homes.
Its main purpose is to provide a means for efficient and safe disposal of human waste products. In hospitals and care homes there is a continuous flow of waste that enters the sluice room. So, we’re talking about incontinence pads and bedpans. Medical and surgical instruments are also brought here to be sterilized.
Therefore, the importance of a well-designed and equipped sluice room cannot be underestimated. They are critical and integral to any infection control regime.
In this blog we’ll cover the essential equipment you need to have in your hospital sluice room.
Sluice Room Design & Layout
First off though you need to consider the importance of your sluice room layout and positioning.
You’re sluice room should be in an accessible place, so you don’t need to go through bedrooms or areas where food is served.
In terms of the actual layout of the sluice room it should be designed with infection prevention in mind. This is vital to eliminate the risk of transmitting infection.
We can pretty much split a sluice room into two main sections. One for ‘dirty’ activities and one for ‘clean’ activities.
You need to ensure that any who uses the sluice room is aware of this design and uses it as so. Again, this is vital to reduce potential cross contamination of dangerous bacteria.
This simply means that ‘dirty’ activities should only take place where they are designated.
This of course should all be part of your infection control program with staff being properly trained.
Finally, of course, anyone who works in the Sluice room must be provided with proper personal protective equipment (PPE). For example, goggles, protective gloves, and coveralls etc.
Sluice Room Equipment
For your sluice room to be compliant with regulations, and most importantly protect your patients or residents you’ll need various pieces of equipment.
Below we detail some of the basic equipment you will need in your sluice room.
Disposal/slop hopper – This is a temporary collection point for any soiled items
Washer Disinfector – Used to disinfect reusable equipment and utensils such as bedpans, or urine bottles
Pulp macerator – Used to macerate and dispose of any medical pulp containers
Foot operated clinical waste bin – To dispose of any gloves, aprons etc without the need to touch the lid
A Deep stainless-steel sink – for general washing and rinsing
Storage cupboards – Used to store single use disposable bedpans or replacement chemical bottles etc
Work surfaces – temporary storage area for clean and disinfected items
Wall-mounted rack – Can be used as a temporary storage area and driving of reusable utensils.
Shelving – used for general storage
Liquid Soap Dispenser – Equipped with antibacterial soap to reduce the spread of infection
Stainless steel handwash basin – Best located near the door. Taps should be lever or sensor operated
Paper towel dispenser – Used to dry hands after washing
Pedal bin – Used for disposal of paper towels
Fire door (regulations depending) – Stainless steel coatings are ideal
Sealed Floor covering – East to wash in the event of any spillage
Tiled or aseptic laminate walls – Again to help with cleaning of the room
Extractor fan – Eliminate any unpleasant odours
Lighting – This should be as energy efficient as possible. Sensor operated will be best.
Maintaining Your Equipment
Another key aspect of keeping your sluice room running as effectively as possible is ensuring all equipment is properly maintained.
Whatever equipment you purchase double check what maintenance plans come with them. It will also be worth checking if the supplier can train staff or how to use the equipment.
When it comes to washer disinfectors, you’ll struggle to find suppliers that match our level of experience.
Dekomed have been supplying hospitals, vets, and care homes for over 28 years. In this time, we have gained valuable knowledge in all aspects of supplying our range of washer disinfectors to you, our clients.
From various delivery methods to working with different Contractors on individual sites, we have the knowledge to ensure each project always runs as smoothly as possible.
All equipment will be installed, and maintained professionally with full training given to staff.