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News - High Standards of Infection Prevention and Control

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High standards of infection prevention & control

 

We have a health care associated infection rate of 3.6% compared to a national rate of 6.4% and regional rate of 6.6%, according to a European point prevalence survey for 2011-2012.

Infection control

 

Joint Medical Director Dr Vaughan Lewis said: "Prevention and control of healthcare associated infections remain a top priority. Our patients and their families put their trust in us to keep them safe whilst they are in our care and we hope they can be assured that we will continue to invest in the education and training of our staff so that we are vigilant, apply good practice and strive to improve our standards. Infection control is a responsibility of all our staff across the trust and we could not have achieved these standards without everyone understanding and supporting a wide range of infection control activity from wards and theatres to laboratories and clinics."

The RD&E looks after about 415,000 patients annually. Here are highlights of our achievement in the past year:

Joint Medical Director Dr Vaughan Lewis said: "Prevention and control of healthcare associated infections remain a top priority. Our patients and their families put their trust in us to keep them safe whilst they are in our care and we hope they can be assured that we will continue to invest in the education and training of our staff so that we are vigilant, apply good practice and strive to improve our standards. Infection control is a responsibility of all our staff across the trust and we could not have achieved these standards without everyone understanding and supporting a wide range of infection control activity from wards and theatres to laboratories and clinics."

 

The RD&E Infection Prevention and Control team also provides professional services to Devon Partnership Trust and the Eastern area served by North Devon Healthcare Trust which includes 11 community hospitals.

 

Director and Lead Nurse for Infection Control Judy Potter said: "The benefits of a single service team, supporting a range of partners in the surrounding community, is effective because infections do not respect geographical boundaries.  This approach provides continuity and consistency around the clock which contributes to effective management of infection in community and acute hospitals.

 

“We take the control of Clostridium difficile – a bacterium that releases a toxin which inflames the colon with symptoms from mild diarrhoea to potentially life threatening – extremely seriously at the Royal Devon & Exeter with a dedicated isolation facility and specially trained staff. MRSA is a bacterium which many people have without experiencing any harm, but in hospital it can cause wound and blood infections. We screen 75% of patients admitted as emergencies to our hospital compared with the national 61% rate. We also screen all our surgical inpatients, orthopaedic cases where patients return home the same day, and renal patients having procedures relating to their dialysis. 

 

“We carry out discrete monthly observation of staff working in clinical areas for their hand hygiene and if compliance falls below our standards, we work closely with individuals and teams to bring standards up to our expectation. All our hospital cleaning services are managed in-house and we have a dedicated team of monitoring officers supported by the ward housekeepers who monitor, and record cleaning standards weekly. Matrons and senior matrons are responsible for ensuring that patient care is provided in a clinically hygienic environment so they receive the results of these checks and have to address any shortcomings. We also each year have an external audit of our cleaning standards by another NHS acute hospital trust.

 

"In addition to the mandatory surveillance, we voluntarily carry out surveillance in other areas of our hospital activity including devices we need to put in veins, breast and spinal surgery wound sites and checking that antibiotic treatments are being appropriately prescribed."

 

The RD&E participated in a European point prevalence survey of healthcare associated infections and antimicrobial use. Data was collated by infection control specialists, microbiologists and an antimicrobial pharmacist for October 2011. The survey information related to all hospital inpatients (adults, children and neonates). The aim of the survey was to raise awareness of this issue, identify areas locally and nationally for interventions and surveillance; measure the use of devices in hospitals locally and nationally, ie. catheters and cannulas and to measure antibiotic prescribing.

 

 

 

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