Workplace design specialist Space Solutions has launched an innovative three-stage service to assist dental practices in meeting requirements to create sterile units for the decontamination of reusable dental equipment.
Under the guidelines set out in the Glennie Report – which reviewed sterile service provision across the NHS in Scotland – all dental practices in Scotland must have or started to plan for a local decontamination unit (LDU) by the end of 2009.
However, many practices have been concerned at how they would accommodate a separate room for the LDU – which is determined by the number of patients/surgeries – within their existing premises.
Grants to assist dentists in meeting the financial cost of the LDU requirements are available from NHS Health Boards – but Space Solutions believes many practices are unsure about how to go about securing financial assistance and how to put in place a plan for a LDU.
PR in Scotland to raise awareness in dental practices
That has lead to the firm setting up LDU Assist, a simple three-stage process service designed to help dental practices across Scotland address the issue of LDUs – from assessing options, finding the most cost-effective solution, to complete implementation.
Space Solutions is Scotland’s biggest independent expert in helping businesses manage changes within the workplace, particularly in finding innovative solutions to challenges in developing commercial properties. They have a wealth of experience in the medical sector, which has included providing workspace design projects in hospitals and surgeries across Scotland.
John Mulgrew, Commercial Manager at Space Solutions, said the attraction of LDU Assist is that it provides a one-stop shop through all the processes required, including help in funding applications – with minimum disruption to business.
He said: “LDU has been specifically set up to help dental practices meet the guidelines set out in the Glennie Report.
“We have spoken to dentists to ensure the service addresses all the concerns and issues they would have in developing a LDU, particularly if they think their premises could not be developed or they are concerned about the impact on their business.
“We have a wealth of experience in the medical sector, and indeed in the business community in general, and have a team of multi-disciplined professionals in place to provide a bespoke integrated approach to LDU implementation.
“We also can provide the latest advice on LDU guidelines and funding to ensure any LDU project progresses as smoothly as possible.”
The first step is free
The first step of the three-stage LDU Assist service, which is free of charge, involves advice on the legislation and the requirements, change to requirements of the Glennie report, applying for funding support as well as appraising practices on their premises to find the best decontamination option for them.
Stage two looks at the design development in which a design brief for the best-solution LDU is prepared.
The final stage involves consultation with local health boards and the preparation of any statutory consents before construction of the LDU, final testing and handover.
John added: “We fully understand the need for ‘business as usual’ so the process has been designed to minimise disruption to each surgery and allow them to carry on working as normal while the LDU is being created.
“LDU Assist is an efficient and cost-effective solution which will allow practices to follow the LDU guidelines with the minimum of fuss.”
CASE STUDY – Lubiju’s Hi-Tech LDU leaves staff and patients smiling
The Lubiju dental practice in Edinburgh only opened in March and is already established as one of Scotland’s most advanced centres of excellence.
It is the brainchild of Dr Biju Krishnan and Dr Lubino do Rego, who already operate the renowned Scottish Dental Implant Centre.
The pair, who met while training at Dundee University, invested £750,000 in the new venture to concentrate on adopting and developing emerging, hi-tech techniques in cosmetic dentistry.
A vital element of the sleek new practice is its carefully designed Local Decontamination Unit (pictures above) – and Dr Krishnan (also pictured) is evangelical about the benefits of a well-planned LDU.
He said: “We put an enormous amount of time and effort into getting our LDU just right, including taking on board all the specialist advice we could get from our local Health Board.
“From a purely clinical point of view, the benefits in terms of infection control are absolutely clear. We have a completely controlled environment in which to sterilise our instruments.
Hub of the entire dental practice
“As a result we now have an employee whose dedicated job is to focus on this. In other practices the sterilisation would be done in the same room as the dental treatment.
“Typically the job would also fall to the dental nurse and it would be just one of their many tasks, so can take more time – the process isn’t quite so efficient as having it done by a dedicated member of staff.”
During the sterilisation process, instruments are first rinsed thoroughly, then treated in an ultrasonic bath. They are then rinsed again, washed in disinfectant and given another inspection. Finally they are put in an autoclave for high-pressure steam sterilisation, then transferred into a sealed, sterile bag until ready to be used again.
Dr Krishnan added: “It was important to get our LDU positioned correctly. It has to be at the very hub of the operation, because we wanted it to be the shortest possible distance from each of the treatment rooms.
“Aside from all of the clinical benefits, we also make sure we show it to patients, because there is absolutely no doubt that it provides them with extra reassurance.
“We invested a minimum of £20,000 into creating our LDU and I can confidently say it is among the very best money we have spent.”
For more information on Space Solutions LDU Assist service, click here or go to:http://www.spacesolutions.info/content/view/278/163/