Infection Prevention

Infection Prevention & Control is one of the Trust’s top priorities.  An Infection Prevention & Control service is provided to all staff and patients across all sites of the Trust.

This service is delivered by a dedicated Infection Prevention & Control Team (IPCT) using a comprehensive action plan to tackle infections including work in the following areas.

Hand Hygiene
Good hand hygiene is the single most important factor in helping prevent the transfer of infection from one patient to another.  Wards and departments do monthly hand hygiene audits.  All clinical staff are assessed annually on their hand hygiene technique.  Other staff attend annual hand hygiene training.

Bare Below Elbows
In January 2008 the Trust signed up to the Department of Health’s ‘Bare below elbows’ initiative.  This means all clinical staff work in short sleeves (or long sleeves rolled up), with no jewellery, watches or rings (other than a plain wedding band), no false nails or nail polish.  Ties, if worn or tucked into the shirt or replaced with a bowtie.

Have you cleaned your hands?
If you don’t see staff washing their hands or using alcohol hand rub we encourage you to ask them if they have done so.

We have also installed alcohol gel hand rubs at hospital entrances as well as entrances to all wards and departments for visitors to use.  The alcohol gel hand rub can also be found elsewhere within wards and departments.

As part of our investment for the future we are also installing handwash sinks just inside ward entrances, for visitors use, on our newly refurbished wards.

Root Cause Analysis
All cases of MRSA bacteraemia (bloodstream infection) and C diff infection are investigated by the IPCT and relevant ward staff to assess how the infection may have been caused.  The lessons learnt from these RCAs enable us to improve future care.

Invasive Devices
These are devices passing into the body or through the skin such as intravenous lines (commonly known as ‘drips’ or ‘IVs’) and urinary catheters.  Occasionally these devices can cause infection.  We have a whole range of measures around the insertion and aftercare of these devices to help reduce this risk.  There is also an Invasive Devices Specialist Nurse leading the training programme for these devices.

Visitors Code
The IPCT and Trust staff are all responsible for helping reduce infections, but everyone can help including visitors.  We have produced an information leaflet for visitors and a visitors code.

Please help us and our vunerable patients by following our advice:

  • Wash your hands or use alcohol gel before entering and on leaving the ward
  • Do not sit on patients’ beds
  • Do not use patient toilets
  • Do not visit if you are unwell or have an infection: eg. Heavy cold, diarrhoea

There is an on-going teaching programme for all levels of Trust staff.  As well as formal classroom teaching Trust staff have acess to internet learning, MP4 players for personal study, drop-in roadshow sessions.  The IPCT also do ward/department based practical teaching.

Policies and Procedures
The IPCT ensure our policies are up-to-date and based on the most recent knowledge and research.  The IPCT also audit and monitor compliance with policies to ensure Trust staff follow them correctly.

Ward Accreditation
Based on the Department of Health guidance “Saving Lives” and “High Impact Interventions” we introduced an accreditation scheme for wards and departments. This scheme encorages shared responsibility by ward and department teams to achieve set standards in hand hygiene, ward environmnet issues, patient equipment and staff knowledge.

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