The HSG (95) 18 guidelines have now been replaced in England by The Choice Framework for local Policy and Procedure HTM01-04 (formerly CFPP01-04).
This Framework is “designed to ensure patient safety and enhanced outcomes at controlled cost using risk control”. The guidance “promotes a principle of continuous improvement in linen processing performance at all levels”.
The Social Care Manual within this Framework gives guidance on how to implement linen decontamination in social care settings, and puts the onus on the operator to ensure that Essential Quality Requirements (EQR) for disinfection are met. Above and beyond EQR though, any reputable care site will want to safeguard their residents’ health by pushing for Best Practice. This requires that additional risk assessments are carried out to maintain and establish a progressive approach to linen safety. In the past, HSG recommendations have focused only on traditional thermal methods.
But now, in the more flexible HTM01-04 (formerly CFPP01-04) guidance, chemical and low temperature ozone processes are deemed acceptable – the only real stipulation being that verification of disinfection is necessary regardless of the method used.