Person with a face mask on
1 May 2018

'Hand and bucket' shower cleaning regime poses risk of infection


Shower hoses known to be cleaned by a hand & bucket procedure have been found to contain significantly high levels of bacteria. Most notably, a count of 2.4m cfu P. aeruginosa in just 1ml of water was observed by W.E.T during a recent research project investigating the link between showers and Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs).

Why is this being researched?

According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) up to 300,000 patients a year acquire a Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI) as a result of care within the NHS. To help combat this, NHS Improvement have tasked Infection Prevention and Control teams with the objective of reducing the number of healthcare associated Gram-negative bloodstream infections by 50%, by March 2021. More specifically, Public Health England, the body responsible for monitoring the number of infections that occur in healthcare settings, extended the surveillance of Gram-negative organisms to include Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which was recently mandated in September 2017.

It is widely accepted that showers are a source of contamination and a distributor of pathogenic bacteria such as Legionella pneumophila and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. This is because showers are an ideal environment for the development of biofilms as they operate within temperatures prime for bacteriological proliferation, contain crevices which harbour bacteria and are manufactured from materials that are nutrient rich. Combined with the shower atomising water, it is logical to determine showers as a key risk for managing HCAIs.

To help combat this, W.E.T's new production facility can manage the cleaning of 10,000s showers; more economically and effectively than any known process available today, proven to kill 99.9% of bacteria. The Hygiene 20 Shower Management solution is an innovative 6-stage process available for NHS Estates to outsource the cleaning of their showers via a collection, clean and return process. The showers are collected from sites, inspected, bar coded for audit purposes and sent through the 6 stage Shower Management process from decontamination to final pasteurisation and returned to site.

Find out more about our Shower Management Service here

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