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Training Support

Project Implementation Timescales


By whom

By date



Funding support
request to HFS

Person responsible for

cleaning services


NHS Ayrshire and Arran

NHS Western Isles

March 2008

Funding support allocated to




NHS Shetland
NHS Dumfries and Galloway
NHS Orkney

Support materials provided to



Support training provided to

Boards (see attached schedule)


See training schedule

Awareness training booklet issued

to all NHS organisations


March 2008

National Colour Coding Scheme

fully implemented throughout

All NHSScotland

31st August 2008

April 2008


In Scotland, Health Facilities Scotland will be responsible for assessing compliance with the
implementation of the National Colour Coding Scheme and will be monitored via the existing
monitoring returns.

NHS Borders
NSS Facilities Services
NHS Lothian

May 2008

NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde

NHS Lanarkshire
Golden Jubilee National Hospital
The State Hospital Board for Scotland

June 2008

NHS Forth Valley

NHS Tayside

July 2008

NHS Grampian
NHS Fife
NHS Highland

August 2008

The support training will be delivered to each Board over a 2 day rolling programme with a
session taking place every 20 minutes. The training will be available to everyone and Boards
should make every effort to allow as many staff as possible to attend one of the sessions.
Attendance sheets will be collected after each session with copies provided to Boards for
recording purposes. Awareness training booklets will be provided to all Boards and these
should be readily available for all staff that are unable to attend the training sessions.
Locations for the two days and specific dates of support training sessions will be agreed with
Boards directly and co-ordinated via Belinda OShea at Health Facilities Scotland.
Further details may be obtained from Belinda OShea, Health Facilities Scotland, contact
details below.
Health Facilities Scotland
4th Floor, Empire House, 131 West Nile Street, Glasgow G1 2RX
Tel: 0141 - 352 5545 Fax: 0141 - 332 0703

Colour Coding For Hospital

Cleaning Materials and Equipment

Patient safety is at the heart of the Government strategy Better Health
Better Care. The reduction of Healthcare Associated Infection (HAI) within
NHS services across Scotland is critical in making the journey of all patients
safer within our Scottish healthcare system. The HAI Task Force has been
working closely with NHS Boards over the last five years to identify ways of
reducing HAI risk to patients and staff. In 2007 the National Patient Safety
Agency developed a national colour coding system for cleaning materials and
equipment which ensures that these items are not used in multiple areas,
therefore reducing the risk of cross-infection. The HAI Task Force believes
that this will have a significant and positive impact on the control of infection
within healthcare environments.
As Director of Health Facilities Scotland and a member of the HAI Task Force,
I am confident that the implementation of the colour coding for cleaning
materials across Scotland will ensure consistency and support continuous
improvement which provides benefits to patients and staff alike.
HFS will be supporting Boards in implementing this by initiatives across

Paul Kingsmore
Director Health Facilities Scotland





Bathrooms, washrooms,
showers, toilets, basins and bathroom floors

General areas including wards, departments

offices and basins in public places

Catering departments, ward kitchen areas

and patient food service at ward level

Isolation areas

Colour Coding Hospital Cleaning

Materials and Equipment

Cleaning materials that should

be colour coded

Micro Fibre

Project Implementation

Colour coding of hospital cleaning materials and

equipment ensures that these items are not used
in multiple areas, therefore reducing the risk of

All materials and equipment, for example, cloths,

mops, buckets, aprons and gloves should be
colour coded. The method used to colour code
items should be clear, permanent and in
accordance with existing local practice.

Micro fibre is no different to other materials and

manufacturers have quickly responded to
produce all of the necessary colour coded
materials. The mop-heads will be provided with 4
coloured detachable tags, three should be
removed and the remaining one colour codes the
mop-head. Because micro fibre materials last
longer, those Boards who have invested in such a
system will find it difficult to meet the rollout
deadline without incurring significant cost,
therefore it has been agreed that as Boards
renew micro fibre stock, the coloured tag version
will be sourced thus supporting the gradual
movement over to the new system.

HFS will support Boards during the

implementation to:

In 2007 the National Patient Safety Agency

(NPSA) developed this Colour Coding Scheme for
cleaning materials in England and Wales. The HAI
Task Force has recommended that this Colour
Code Scheme be adopted throughout Scotland as
standard in order to improve the safety of
hospital cleaning, ensure consistency throughout
Scotland, England and Wales, and provide clarity
for staff.
Discussions have taken place at each Board
through the Domestic Services Advisory Group
and as a result of these discussions, and
consultation with the Scottish Government,
funding has been provided to the Boards via
Health Facilities Scotland.

Materials and equipment that do

not need to be colour coded
Cleaning products such as detergents and
disinfectants do not need to be colour coded.
Also, the code does not extend to main catering
departments or equipment (for example,
chopping boards and knives) where there is
already a well-recognised and well-established
procedure in place to ensure food hygiene and
food separation issues are addressed.
Boards who presently use paper towels as cloths
do not need to source colour coded paper towels,
but do need to ensure that their use is strictly
controlled to single use.

Supporting Materials
A free starter pack to support the
implementation of the National Colour Coding
Scheme containing A4 and A3 posters and
pocket-sized reference cards with lanyards will be
sent by Health Facilities Scotland to every
appropriate NHS organisation.

adopt the National Colour Coding

Scheme where existing practice differs;
develop an action plan for introducing
the National Colour Coding Scheme;
raise awareness of any revised practice
amongst healthcare staff.