This week marks International Infection Prevention Week 2022, which was first established in 1986 and each year aims to shine a light on the importance of hygiene in controlling infectious illnesses.

This year, we are marking the occasion by showcasing the amazing work our homes’ domestic teams carry out each and every day.

Whilst cleanliness in any environment is important to reduce health hazards, it is vital in healthcare facilities, including care homes. Whilst our domestic teams have always ensured our homes are cleaned to a high standard, the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted how vital a clean environment is to prevent the spread of illness and ultimately keep our residents and colleagues safe.

Case study: Lavender Fields / Mount Ephraim House

Sheila and Diana Wilson are twin sisters who work together at Lavender Fields Care Home in Sevenoaks. They previously worked at Mount Ephraim House in Tunbridge Wells (currently undergoing refurbishments) since the 1980s, undertaking various roles before settling within the domestic team.

Sheila and Diana spoke to us about the job satisfaction that comes with their roles and the fact that even though they are not part of the residents’ direct care teams, they are still able to build strong relationships with them.

Diana said:

“When cleaning a resident’s room, I think how I would want my own home to look and then clean it to the same standard.”

Sheila and Diana also discussed the importance of all team members, regardless of department, working together to ensure the wellbeing of residents. Diana continued:

“Even though we aren’t carers, we do get to know the residents really well, so if we notice that a resident doesn’t seem like their normal self, we are encouraged to report it.”

The role of a domestic assistant in a care home has developed in recent years, with more of a focus on training and development as well as the theory behind hygiene practices.