Home > Published Guidance > Decontamination

Decontamination Into Practice

Cover imageReviewed and extant January 2016 (see ‘Review and updating’ below for details)

Decontamination Into Practice is a series of documents that provides advice on various aspects of instrument decontamination in dental practice, including cleaning and sterilization of reusable instruments, and management of decontamination in the practice. Appendices with related information and Supporting Tools are also available to download.

Downloads

Decontamination Into Practice comprises the following parts:

  • Introduction and Overview (updated October 2014; reviewed and extant January 2016)
  • Part 1 – Cleaning of Dental Instruments (published October 2014; reviewed
    and extant January 2016) includes advice on organising the local
    decontamination uniDecon coverst, cleaning methods and equipment testing
  • Part 2 – Sterilization of Dental Instruments (published December 2011; reviewed and extant January 2016) includes advice on equipment purchase, important considerations, procedures and equipment testing
  • Part 3 – Management of Decontamination in Dental Practice (published October 2014; reviewed and extant January 2016) aims to help dental practices to create the documentation that underpins a decontamination management system. A checklist for reviewing and recording the status of the practice’s decontamination documentation and a collection of templates that the practice can adapt for its own use are all accessed via SDCEP’s Practice Support Manual (login required)
  • Appendices and References (updated October 2014; reviewed and extant January 2016) includes contact details for training, procurement and support, and references.

Please note that some of the external weblinks included in the current guidance may have changed since its publication.

Supporting tools: The following are examples of logbook test record pages for recording details of daily and weekly safety checks and tests for a period of up to five weeks. If required, these can be adapted to record other information as recommended by the equipment manufacturer.

Health Facilities Scotland supplies standard logbooks for various types of sterilizers, washer disinfectors and ultrasonic cleaners. These can be obtained online at: www.hfs.scot.nhs.uk/services/decontamination-services/guidance. Record sheets may also be available from your equipment supplier.

A Framework to Support Staff Development in the Decontamination of Re-usable Medical Devices, which is applicable to staff working in NHS Boards and the independent sector, including general dental practices, has been developed by NHS Education for Scotland to support those who undertake, manage or are responsible for decontamination activities.

About this guidance

Effective decontamination of instruments is a key element of infection control and the provision of quality dental care. A range of technical specifications and legal standards govern the decontamination process. Historically, existing guidance concerned with meeting these was not easily accessible or well publicised to primary care dental services. Furthermore, decontamination provision and its accompanying guidance are constantly evolving as new information and equipment becomes available. Based on these existing sources of information, Decontamination Into Practice is a series of advice documents concerned with organising and carrying out decontamination. Written specifically for primary dental care providers, the advice is presented in a manner that aims to facilitate improvements in decontamination practice and help the evolution towards compliance with the relevant mandatory and statutory standards. The guidance was last updated in October 2014.

Guidance development

The Guidance Development Group (GDG) for Decontamination Into Practice comprised individuals from across the dental profession with particular interest and experience in decontamination and was assisted by our Programme Development Team. Since it was first convened in 2004, the GDG’s composition has varied as noted below.

Both Parts 1 and Parts 2 of Decontamination Into Practice were subject to wide consultation and Peer Review.  At each stage the feedback received was carefully considered and the guidance amended accordingly prior to publication.  As new knowledge and technology develops it may be necessary to update this guidance in the future.

Expert advice was provided by the Health Facilities Scotland Decontamination Team.

Guidance Development Group

Name Position
Alice Miller (Chair) General Dental Practitioner, Duns, Borders; VT Advisor, NHS Education for Scotland
Dawn Adamsa Clinical Director of Community Dental Services, NHS Fife
Jeremy Baggb Head of Glasgow Dental School and Professor of Clinical Microbiology, University of Glasgow
Irene Black General Dental Practitioner; Dental Practice Advisor, NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde Health Board; Dental Advisor for Decontamination, NHS Education for Scotland
Iris Greenb Dental Nurse Manager, Tayside University Hospitals Trust, Dundee Dental Hospital
Irene Hanevya Dental Practice Co-ordinator, NHS Fife
Gillian Irvinec Senior Infection Control Nurse, Health Protection Scotland (on secondment to University of Glasgow Dental School from 2004-07)
Margaret Leggate General Dental Practitioner, Aberdeen; Clinical Effectiveness Advisor, NHS Grampian
Christine Youngd Infection Control Nurse Advisor, NHS Education for Scotland
Fiona Zinkewycza Senior Dental Nurse, General Dental Service, Fife

a Part 2 only; b Parts 1 and 2; c Part 1 only; d Parts 2 and 3. Individuals’ roles at the time of their most recent participation in the GDG are shown.

SDCEP thanks Dr Andrew Smith of Glasgow Dental School who chaired the group until July 2005.

SDCEP acknowledges the important contribution of all those who commented during the consultation and peer review stages.

Review and updating

In January 2016, SDCEP completed a periodic review of the Decontamination Into Practice guidance. No substantive changes to legislation, regulations or generic national guidance on which the current SDCEP guidance is based were found. It was agreed that no update is warranted at this time and that this guidance remains unchanged and extant until the next review, which is due to take place in December 2018 or earlier if there is a substantive change to relevant sources.

Please note that some of the external weblinks included in the current guidance may have changed since its publication.