Infection prevention and control is everybody’s responsibility, but we have an Infection Prevention and Control team who oversees all our efforts in this area.
Head of Infection Prevention and Control
This clinician provides expert IPC leadership, advice and support to the joint executive directors of infection prevention and control (DIPCs) providing management and leadership of the IPC Team. The head produces an annual programme for IPC, incorporating national infection control objectives, guidance legislation and policy.
The Infection Prevention and Control Team
The team works closely supporting multidisciplinary clinical teams/staff in ensuring the risks of healthcare acquired infections (HCAIs) are minimised across acute and community services.
The IPC team provide specialist advice, expertise, education and training on matters relating to the identification, prevention and management of infection within the trust to provide assurance for patient and staff safety.
These professionals provide clinical leadership, expert advice and guidance for antimicrobial stewardship, education, participation in IPCC and recognising nosocomial pathogens and their antimicrobial resistance patterns.
The Microbiologists assess the clinical significance of all patient infections and with the relevant clinician as required.
They work in collaboration with the infection prevention and control team and microbiology laboratory to ensure that microbiology data is relevant and valid to meet local and mandatory requirements.
IPC Doctor (IPCD)
The doctor is responsible for supporting the joint DIPCs, Head of IPC and the IPC team by providing guidance and advice on matters relating to clinically relevant microbiological issues e.g. clinical IPC activity, antimicrobial prescribing, laboratory issues, surveillance and epidemiology.
The IPCD liaises with the joint DIPCs and Head of IPC on key operational issues as required.
The Antimicrobial Pharmacist
Promotes the appropriate use of antimicrobial agents through education, policy and guidelines. Responsible for leading the antibiotic audit programme in collaboration with the Chair of the Antimicrobial Steering Group (AMSG).
Also provides expert advice on the agents used in IPC practice at a strategic level and for individual patient care.
The antimicrobial pharmacist and AMSG are responsible for operating and reporting an annual point prevalence audit of antimicrobial usage.
Infection Prevention and Control Link Practitioners
These clinicians act as a resource and role model in their clinical area, and liaise with the IPC team.
They help create and maintain an environment which will ensure the safety of patient/clients, their relatives and other health care workers, using evidence-based IPC knowledge to reduce the risk of infection.
Reassuring you when it comes to healthcare associated infections
You may be concerned about healthcare associated infections – infections that may pass from one patient to another and from the hospital into the community.
We take infection prevention very seriously and although infections cannot be prevented completely most can be successfully treated, it is important that we and you do everything possible to prevent the spread of infections.
Top of our list is ‘hand hygiene’ – and you will find alcohol gel stations at key points around the hospital, especially at entrances and exits to our sites and also on wards. We ask all visitors to wash their hands both before and after visiting loved ones to help us stop the spread of infection, preferably with soap and water.
Hand hygiene plays a vital role in keeping our patients safe.
Why is hand hygiene important?
Patients and visitors have a key role to play in preventing the spread of healthcare associated infections. Keeping your hands clean is an effective way of helping to prevent the spread of infections. The easiest way to spread infection is by our hands. Hands can become contaminated with germs from contact with other people, equipment and our surroundings. This contact can cause infection. Facilities for washing hands are available on each ward or department. All in-patient wards have a hand wash sink at the entrance. Patients and visitors are asked to make use of these facilities every time you enter or leave the ward.
When should I was my hands?
- On entering wards/ clinical areas
- Before and after helping relatives eat or drink
- Before and after helping relatives with any personal care
- Before leaving wards/ clinical areas
- On arriving home/ work after your visit.
How should I wash my hands properly?
Hand washing with soap and running water is the best way to get your hands clean if they are visibly dirty. Soap is provided at hand wash sinks all around the hospital.
(May want to insert the good hand washing technique images here?)
What about using a hand sanitiser?
This is a quick and convenient alternative to hand washing for hands which are not visibly dirty or when soap and water for hand washing is not readily available. Hand sanitiser is provided in dispensers around the hospital and in most wards at the bedside.
What about the doctors and nurses looking after me or my loved one?
As a patient or visitor in hospital, you should expect to see all healthcare workers clean their hands before and after they provide care. If you are not sure if they have, please ask! Healthcare workers are trained in the importance of hand hygiene and will not mind being asked. Sometimes they may have cleaned their hands out of your sight, so asking them will reassure you they have cleaned their hands.
If you’re worried about whether your nurse or doctor has washed their hands before treating you, please don’t be afraid to ask! None of our staff will be offended if you ask them to wash their hands before treating you – we actually encourage it. Infection control is everyone’s responsibility.