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Right Arrow Hospital Trust is Best in the Country - RM/SC
14 July 2004 at 13:29
Figures produced by the Department of Health show that Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has performed better than any other Acute Multi Specialty Trust in the country in preventing infection by MRSA.

Since mandatory surveillance monitoring started 3 years ago the Trust has consistently outperformed other Trusts and this year is 4 times better than the national average.

Many trusts have concerns that the requirement to reduce waiting lists is leading to higher rates of MRSA. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has met all of its waiting list targets and still managed to be the number one performer on MRSA. In a recent statement Health Secretary John Reid said “everywhere in the NHS needs to be brought up to the level of the best”

Commenting on the results, the Trust’s Director of Infection Prevention and Control Dr Geraldine Boocock said “We are pleased that the hard work, dedication and tremendous effort that all staff members make in preventing and controlling infection have been rewarded with these figures”. Nurse Consultant for the Prevention and Control of Infection Martin Kiernan said that the results are very encouraging but stressed that the Trust will not become complacent about the potential threat of this germ to the health of patients. “We must continue to implement a range of infection control measures in order to prevent cross-infection. Although some patients do come into contact with MRSA, this data has demonstrated that we have been effective at preventing the most serious form of infection and we have appropriate ways of dealing with it”.

Commenting on MRSA within the Trust, Consultant Medical Microbiologist Dr Judith Bowley said, “In our experience, MRSA most commonly colonises patients who usually do not go on to become infected. When this happens our policy is to isolate the patient for the protection of others and screen other patient contacts. We feel that this is a highly effective way of controlling MRSA.”

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus which is better known as MRSA, is a germ that has become resistant to some antibiotics. It is spread either by contact with someone who has MRSA or by contact with items that have been used by a person with MRSA. It can spread very quickly and may cause infections in certain patients.

The Trust has implemented a number of measures that help in the fight against infection. The Trust takes a team approach to creating high standards of cleanliness with housekeeping services working in partnership with nursing staff and the Infection Control Team. New developments such as the introduction of Domestic Task Teams to work alongside the Domestic Assistants and the Ward Housekeepers have strengthened the cleaning teams and helped to maintain standards of cleanliness on wards. Other new developments this year include the setting up of a link infection control worker group to disseminate information about Infection Control and the appointment of a Surveillance Nurse who will help with the collection of data and the feedback of information to clinical staff during educational and update sessions.

The Trust has also been keen to work with patients and has for some time included a member of the Patient’s Group in the Ward Hygiene Inspection Teams. Infection Control Team members also provide information to Patient Group meetings.

Good infection control means the implementation of a range of measures and includes effective hand hygiene as well as cleanliness. Other measures include computerised surveillance systems, the introduction of an improved paper hand towel to make hand washing more effective, annual mandatory educational updates for staff, an on-call service for infection control advice to staff out of normal working hours, the input of infection control staff at planning and building design stages and improved infection surveillance of high-risk areas.

Notes to Editors

Issued by Richard McCarthy , Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Richard McCarthy Tel: 01704 704786

Martin Kiernan Control of Infection Nurse Consultant can be contacted directly on (01704) 704169