Embracing Best Practices: Updated Welsh Guidelines Advocate Automated Decontamination Systems

Ultrasound probe decontamination guidelines are a range of recommendations based on the Spaulding classification, literature reviews of available evidence, expert opinion, and current best practice. They help to determine the procedures to support safe decontamination of semi-invasive ultrasound probes (SIUPs) and non-invasive ultrasound probes used in semi-critical procedures using high-level disinfection (HLD) to keep both patients and staff safe.

We spoke to John Prendergast about the upcoming publication of the new Welsh guidelines.

Can you introduce yourself?

John Prendergast – Authorising Engineer, Decontamination - NHS Wales Shared Service

Can you tell us about the new guidelines and what people can expect?

We are looking to develop a standardised approach of ultrasound probes, improve standards, and move to automated technologies where possible. To provide our health boards and trusts with the assurance and ultimately our patients with the safety requirements for healthcare treatment.

Who has been involved in creating the new guidelines?

The All Wales Decontamination and Sterilisation Advisory Group is a multi-disciplinary group, including Decontamination leads, Infection Prevention representatives, Estates representatives, and microbiologists. The guidelines will be published with that organisation and will be available to all users in Wales.

When can people expect the new guidelines to be published?

It is currently a work in progress, I have been speaking to several Public Health Nurses, and they are going to comment on the guidance and then we will send it for publication. We hope that by late summer the guidelines will be finalised.


NHS Wales WHTM 01/06 part F - Decontamination of Semi-critical Ultrasound Probes; Semi‐invasive and Non‐invasive Ultrasound Probes [due for publication in 2023, currently in draft, title TBC] – Guidelines to include a recommendation for automated decontamination system as best practice for SIUPs & non-invasive ultrasound probes used in semi-critical procedures and validation of equipment and traceability.

Read more about the UK and International Guidelines here

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