Decontamination Room Basics
Once the room outline is plotted, there is an overriding consideration when planning a decontamination room: workflow around the room. The reason for needing to create workflow is to create a ‘dirty’ area and a separate ‘clean’ area. The dirty area is for receiving used instruments from the surgery. The instruments should then be sterilised by moving step-by-step around the room until they are despatched back to the surgeries from the clean area. The workflow should be in one direction around the room to prevent clean instruments becoming contaminated.
Always the most difficult thing about laying out the cabinetry in a Decontamination room is the requirement to fit 3 sinks into the room. The HTM 01-05 guidelines make clear that the hand-wash basin (HWB) needs to be separate to the wash and rinse sinks. The HWB can either be integrated in the worktops or a separate wall mounted porcelain sink. The wash and rinse sinks are in the worktop and can be a twin sink or 2 separate sinks.
It is best to try and keep all 3 sinks fairly close together so the plumbing is as simple as possible. Probably the single biggest factor determining possible cabinetry and equipment layout is getting the waste pipes from the sinks to a drain. It’s important to find out where your drains are.
The wash and rinse sinks are at the start of the workflow, alongside the set-down area (shown as ‘Deliver’ on the HTM 01-05 diagram). The start of the workflow should be close to the entrance so dirty instruments are not carried through the room.