Reducing the Risk of Infection in Hospital: What You and We Can Do To Help
We are committed in our responsibility to do everything we can to reduce our infection rates. We take infection control extremely seriously and we are working hard to ensure our standards of clinical practice reflect our reputation as a centre of excellence. It is important to us that our hospitals are maintained to the highest possible environmental hygiene standards.
While hospital cleanliness does play a part in tackling infection, it is simple and basic personal hygiene that really makes all the difference in both prevention and control of infection. It doesn’t matter whether you are a member of staff, a patient or a visitor; handwashing and/or hand decontamination is the single most important measure we can all take to prevent the spread of infection in our hospitals.
So the next time you visit someone in hospital or have direct patient contact, please remember to wash your hands before you enter and after you leave the Ward. You will also find alcohol based hand gel in wall dispensers throughout the hospital that you can use to decontaminate your hands.
All staff have a responsibility maintaining a clean and tidy environment in which patients are cared for, this is essential in preventing the spread of healthcare associated infections.
Infection prevention and control is everyone’s business – help us to help you.
Our Infection Rates
The Trust's infection rates for MRSA Bacteraemias and C.diff are available here.
Surveillance of Surgical Site Infections
Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust participates in the surveillance of surgical site infections in orthopaedic surgery which became mandatory from April 2004.
The scheme is run by the Department of Health and the Public Health Laboratory Service [now part of the Health Protection Agency (HPA)]. They established the national surveillance scheme in 1997 to support hospitals in undertaking surveillance of surgical site infections and blood stream infections.
Although participation in the scheme used to be voluntary there has been a steady increase in hospitals participating since 1997. It now holds one of the largest data sets on surgical site infections outside of the United States.
For more information on the Trust’s surgical site infection rates and a comparison with other UK hospitals for Hip and Knee replacement, open reduction long bone fractures and Hip Hemiarthroplasty go the the HPA website
How we keep our wound infection rates low
We work very hard to keep surgical wounds clean:
We train our staff in hand hygiene to minimise any risk of cross-infection.
Nurses have the right skills and experience to apply dressings to keep wounds clean.
We help patients to mobilise as soon as possible to speed recovery.
We use operating theatres with laminar air flow, an air filter system, for all major orthopaedic operations. Laminar air flow is an air filter system that cleans the surrounding air during surgery.
What is wound infection?
Hip and knee operations are very common procedures and for most people the benefits are great. However, all surgery carries a risk of infection in the wound and this is known as surgical site infection.
Wound infections can be treated with dressings and/or antibiotics.
The rate of wound infection is measured by dividing the number of cases of infection by the number of operations of that specific type (i.e. hip operations) completed by the hospital.
The Infection Prevention and Control Team
The role of the Infection Prevention and Control team is to work with other key Trust staff to formulate and implement an annual programme that is delivered on a 24 hour basis. This is to ensure the prevention and control of both hospital and community acquired infections. The team aims to ensure the safety of patients, staff, external agencies and members of the public who may visit the organisation.
The team provides expert advice to all grades of staff on the management of infected patients and other infection control issues. Some of the key functions of the team include:
Audit and surveillance, both local and national
Monitoring of hospital hygiene
Formulation of policies and guidelines
Infection Prevention and Control services are provided by a multidisciplinary team of nurse specialists and consultant medical microbiologists. The service is supported by the technical expertise of the Microbiology Department.
The team can be contacted on 01785 257731 Ext 4718.
Reducing the risk of infection - what you can do to help
Care Quality Commission Inspection Report 2009
MRSA Screening Guidlines for pre-admission
MRSA Screening Compliance Statement
Links to other websites
Infection Control: HPA website
Infection Advice: Department of Health website