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The transmission of infection in association with equipment and the environment has been recognised as a problem since micro-organisms were first perceived as the cause of infection. Inadequate decontamination has frequently been responsible for outbreaks of infection in hospital (Wilson 2006).



To ensure appropriate decontamination processes are undertaken throughout the Trust for all reusable patient equipment in order to provide a safe patient environment.

Decontamination processes aim to remove or destroy contaminating micro-organisms and also the nutritive material on which they survive; moisture, dust, dirt, hence destroying them totally or reducing numbers to a safe level. Safe and correct decontamination of equipment between patients is an essential part of routine infection control practices.


Infection risk to patient from contact with an item

The method of decontamination selected should consider the risk of the item acting as a source or vehicle of infection and the process that it will tolerate.


Policy Details

Download: PDF version
Compiled by: The Infection Control Team
Ratified by: Clinical Governance Committee
Date Ratified: August 2017
Date Issued: August 2019
Review Date: August 2020
Target Audience: All Trust staff
Contact name: Infection Prevention and Control Team


See also:

  • Policy on Decontamination of Equipment Before Service or Repair
  • Policy for Hospital Cleaning
  • Decontamination Policy