Cash to beat hospital infections

IPSWICH Hospital could be in for a £600,000 windfall to crackdown on infections like MRSA and Clostridium Difficile (C-diff).The region's health chiefs are offering the cash to hospitals which can prove they can bring infection rates down.

IPSWICH Hospital could be in for a £600,000 windfall to crackdown on infections like MRSA and Clostridium Difficile (C-diff).

The region's health chiefs are offering the cash to hospitals which can prove they can bring infection rates down.

Ipswich Hospital has already made a bid for £300,000, and has the opportunity to double its money at a later date.

The first £300,000, if finalised, will be used to create an isolation ward and decontamination area, step up cleaning and provide extra staffing levels on busy wards at night.

The changes could be in place by the end of October.

Jan Rowsell, hospital spokeswoman, said: “We have to first demonstrate that how we use the money will lead to a significant reduction in the cases of infections.

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“We are doing very well in bringing down numbers of MRSA, our challenge is to significantly reduce the number of C-diff cases.”

The hospital asked staff for ideas and plans to introduce an isolation ward with high staffing levels, enhance cleaning standards and pharmacy support, put more staff on busy wards at night, giving more education to nurses and having a decontamination area.

The East of England Strategic Health Authority (SHA) has £5m to give to health trusts in the region, but Ipswich Hospital's bid will first have to be given the green light by county health bosses at the Suffolk Primary Care Trust.

Only trusts which pledge to reduce infection rates will get given the cash, and the second payment is reliant on success after the first payment.

Paul Watson, director of commissioning at the SHA, said: “Healthcare associated infection (HCAI) is a major cause of avoidable mortality and morbidity in the NHS. It is a major source of public concern and can undermine public confidence in the safety of NHS services.”

The most recent infection figures released by the hospital showed there had been 114 cases after three months of the 2007/08 year, above the target of 88.

There had been five cases of MRSA against a target of six.

In June, the hospital cut visiting times in an attempt to reduce the number of infections plaguing its wards.

n Is enough being done to crackdown on infections in hospitals? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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