Soiled Utility Rooms & Equipment

Well-planned soiled utility rooms and equipment for infection control

A soiled utility room (or sluice room) is a necessity for every licensed elderly care facility and hospital.

Reducing the risk of infection can mean major cost savings for any healthcare facility or hospital.

Planning a soiled utility room

There are four cornerstones to maintaining good hygiene routines;

1. Soiled area

This is an area set aside for soiled goods, kept seperate from the clean areas, it acts as a collection point for soiled goods. It might consist of a stainless steel discharge table.

2. Hand washbasin

Most important in the soiled utility room is a well organised sink for washing hands - cleaned and disinfected goods must never be touched with unclean hands.  The hand wash sink should be easily accessible, close to the entrance, equipped with a mixer tap operated by arm or elbow and include accessories, such as lliquid soap dispensers, disposable paper towels and a waste paper bin.

3. Flusher disinfector

Soiled receptacles, such as bedpans and their lids, urine bottles and toilet buckets, are placed into the flusher disinfector, which will empty, clean and disinfect the receptacles, without further work.  The basic rule of hygiene is that all objects that have been in contact with body fluids or secretions, must be reprocessed (cleaned and disinfected) as soon as possible and transferred to a clean storage area.

Flusher disinfectors exist as three models; freestanding to provide correct loading height, wall-mounted to enable under floor cleaning and under-table model to free up workspace.

4. Clean storage area

Disinfected items that are not to be used immediately should be kept away from any soiled surfaces or goods - cupboards or racks provide good storage, a cupboard mounted over the flusher disinfector is one space-saving alternative.  In the soiled utility room, there should also be a lockable cupboard or cabinet for storing chemicals or disinfectants and a two bag trolledy for dirty linen and waste.  Plus, if stainless steel bedpans are used, a heated storage cabinet is a good option.