5.17 Safe Management of the care environment

See NIPCM for routine safe management of care environment as per SICPs.

Care Home Settings

Care homes should refer to the CH IPCM for more general information on safe management of the care environment in this setting as per SICPs.

Environmental cleaning in the respiratory pathway should be undertaken as per table 10.  A minimum of 4 hours should have elapsed between the first daily clean and the second daily clean. Where a room has not been occupied by any staff or service user since the first daily clean was undertaken, a second daily clean is not required.

Table 10 - Environmental cleaning determined by SICPs/TBPs




Routine care areas
(non-respiratory pathway) – cleaning as per SICPs

At least daily as per NHS Scotland National Cleaning Services Specification.


General purpose detergent1


Respiratory pathway - cleaning as per TBPs (incl post AGP for service users requiring airborne precautions for AGPs)

At least twice daily

1st clean - Full clean (domestic services)

2nd clean - 2Touch Surfaces within clinical and care delivery areas

Combined detergent/disinfectant solution at a dilution of 1000 ppm av chlorine or general purpose neutral detergent in a solution of warm water followed by a disinfectant solution of 1000ppm av chlorine.


1 Cleaning in routine care areas should be carried out with chlorine based detergent for rooms where the service user is known to have any other known or suspected infectious agent.

2 Touch surfaces as a minimum should include door handles/push pads, taps, bed heads/bed ends, cot sides, light switches, lift buttons.  Clinical and care delivery areas should include the service user’s bedroom and treatment areas and staff rest areas.

Any areas contaminated with BBF (including saliva) in any clinical/care area require to be cleaned as per Appendix 9 of the NIPCM.

In settings such as outpatient departments, GP practices, dental practices, where there are multiple service users undergoing a consultation each day, cleaning should be undertaken between service users in addition to the environmental cleaning described above using the appropriate cleaning product depending on the pathway the service user is on.  Ensure that any surfaces touched by the service user are cleaned e.g. chair, treatment bed and where the service user is symptomatic of a respiratory virus, cleaning should include items in the immediate environment which may have become contaminated.