You may well have read reports in the media about Healthcare Associated Infections (HCAIs) such as MRSA and clostridium difficile (C.diff).
These reports can cause anxiety for patients coming into hospital, who may be concerned that they might pick up an infection.
Our patients can be reassured by the tough infection control measures we have in place; and we regularly monitor and report to the Trust Board on their effectiveness.
Infection control measures
Standard practice for all Trust staff includes:
- Stricter uniform control with doctors, in clinical situations, having to remove their jackets and ties and rolling up their sleeves.
All clinical staff wear the minimum of jewellery (one plain band ring).
- Patients requiring emergency and elective admission are screened for MRSA carriage either on admission or before they come into the hospital (except a small exclusion group as advised by the Department of Health)
- The Trust monitors antibiotic prescribing; inappropriate use of some antibiotics has been linked to an increase ofClostridium difficilecases.
- Specialist training for all staff inserting cannulae (intravenous lines) and venepuncture (taking blood samples)
- Weekly reports including MRSA Bacteraemia and Clostridium difficile numbers are circulated internally and externally to our allied health teams
- Monthly presentations are made to the Patient Safety and Quality Committee including the numbers of infections reported and any Infection Control incidents under investigation
- A detailed infection controlled surveillance report is presented to the Trust board on a monthly basis
Patients and visitors
In key public areas we remind everyone to keep their hands clean by washing hands with soap and water and using the hand hygiene gels where appropriate.
Hand hygiene is the simplest, and yet is proven to be the most effective, way of preventing infections.