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Coronavirus Public Health England advice
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To protect our patients, visitors and staff we have implemented a zero tolerance approach to Health Care Associated Infections.
- Our key role is to monitor healthcare associated infection, we educate our staff, and raise awareness of infection control with our patients, visitors and the public, ensure policies are up to date and based on the best evidence; we undertake audits; and manage outbreaks. The team consists of a consultant microbiologist, a lead infection prevention nurse and four infection prevention nurses. The team is represented at the Trust Board by the Director of Nursing.
- Our staff actively promote the ‘Clean your hands’ campaign as an important way of controlling infection.
- Hand hygiene is regularly audited by all areas and reported at the Infection Prevention Committee. Alcohol hand gel is available at the end of every patient bed. Patients are encouraged to ask staff whether they have cleaned their hands.
- All patients who are being admitted for surgery will be screened for MRSA. Usually two swabs will be taken, one from your nose and one from your groin. Sometimes more swabs will be required e.g. if a wound or a catheter is present.
- The screening will take place at your pre-op appointment, prior to your hospital admission as part of the assessment before surgery. Occasionally, you may be asked to swab yourself at home. The pre-op department will provide full advice about this. You may also be swabbed if you are coming into hospital as an emergency. This will happen on the ward you are admitted to if this is needed. You will also be swabbed for MRSA if you have had MRSA in the past two years. Not all patients being admitted as an emergency will have an MRSA swab.
- If you have a positive result for MRSA, a nose cream and a body wash will be prescribed for you and you may also be given a bed in your own side room.
Some patients will be screened for CPE (carbapenemase producing Enterobacteriaceae).
Enterobacteriaceae are bacteria which live harmlessly in the gut of humans and animals. They can cause infection if they get into the wrong place, such as the bladder or bloodstream.
CPE are an antibiotic-resistant strain of Enterobacteriaceae.
Screening will be undertaken for patients who have been in hospitals other than those in Herefordshire or Powys in the past 12 months.
It is especially important to have this screening if you have been a patient in a hospital abroad or in Manchester or London.
Screening for CPE is undertaken either by inserting a swab in your bottom or taking a stool sample.
If you have a positive result for CPE and you have no signs or symptoms of infection then you will not need to be treated. However, if you do have an infection, we will discuss appropriate treatment with you.
Extra auditing of infection prevention practices on all our wards
- All hospital wards undertake a suite of infection prevention audits - these include cleanliness audits and audits which examine the care of lines, catheters (these are just examples).
Antibiotic prescribing policy
- This is available to all prescribers at the Trust electronically and via an app. Compliance with the policy is regularly audited.
Patients can help our fight against infectionsWhat can patients do to help?
Visitors can help our fight against infection
Annual Report infection prevention
Care Quality Commission Trust self-assessment of compliance
In June 2021, the Trust completed the annual self-assessment against the Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice for health and adult social care for the prevention and control of infections and related guidance.
Full compliance was noted in all criterion with the exception of five sub elements. These five sub elements relate to two areas: Sharing of infection information between providers (three elements) and Clinical cleaning (two elements). Partial compliance has been declared in these areas as work is ongoing to ensure full assurance with the criterion.