If you run a care home, hospital or other care-type facility, you’ll no doubt be aware of the Sluice Room.

In this closed area, human waste can be properly and safely disposed of. Essentially, it is the place where waste is disposed and instruments are cleaned.

You may know the Sluice room by other names, such as the soiled utility room. The importance of this area cannot be underestimated, and the equipment that it contains is vital to ensure the safe removal of infectious bacteria.

What Is A Sluice Room & What Do We Do In There?

Whether you’re in a care home or hospital, the process of disposing waste within the Sluice room will generally be the same. The practitioner will be handling some sort of patient waste or soiled instrument that requires disinfecting.

The waste or instrument needs to be disposed of or cleaned in a way that won’t harm the practitioner or the surrounding environment. The sluice room provides a safe environment for disposing waste in special medical bins, as well as hosting specialised high temperature cleaning equipment for the safe disinfection of reusable utensils.

The Sluice room is vitally important, and as such the equipment that it contains must be up to standard. Ensuring that staff are properly trained, so that bacteria is dealt with instantly is vital to the safe maintenance of the Sluice room. If not well managed, dangerous bacteria could be allowed to spread throughout the Sluice room and beyond, causing danger to patients and staff alike.

To ensure this doesn’t’ happen, a clear workflow should be implemented to minimise the risk of germs and bacteria passing around the room. The Sluice room should be designed so that a medical practitioner or care home worker can dispose of the soiled material as quickly as possible, to minimise bacteria spread. Ensuring properly designed surfaces are implemented, such as using stainless steel, ensures that bacteria can’t be trapped in the surfaces.

The Sluice Room is also a perfect place to store items such as wipes and bedpans. Ensure that you have allocated appropriate space for these materials, away from where soiled equipment or material is cleaned or disposed of.

Sluice Room Equipment Requirements

The equipment that is used within the Sluice room is vital to controlling the spread of infection. Manual cleaning of instruments is not enough to kill bacteria, as often this is not done thoroughly or at a high enough temperature.

For bedpans and other reusable medical equipment, it is therefore recommended that you use a washer disinfector. Not only can a washer disinfector minimise the amount of time spent washing instruments, it also goes through a certified process of disinfecting the equipment at high temperature. This means that bacteria is killed, rendering the equipment safe to touch and re-use.

For single use products, a macerator will provide a sanitary way for disposing soiled equipment such as urinals, commode pots and bedpans.

It is advised to use this type of equipment rather than washing manually, as in itself washing can transfer bacteria and will often not leave the equipment completely disinfected.

Final Thoughts

Sluice Rooms are vital for the safe provision of care and medical services. Ensuring that your Sluice room is designed with minimisation of bacteria in mind is critical. Utilising the advanced and time-saving equipment will not only ease pressure on your staff, but also provide a better level of cleanliness and a safer environment for your patients, residents and workers.

Providing this closed area for waste disposal and cleaning will ensure that your establishment is a safe environment free from infection.