Hospital told to clamp down on bugs
HARD-HITTING hygiene messages to reduce MRSA outbreaks at Ipswich Hospital are not being adhered to by medical staff, it was revealed today.According to a report from the Department of Health, a worrying percentage of staff are not following simple advice about hand hygiene, ward cleanliness and other anti-infection measures.
HARD-HITTING hygiene messages to reduce MRSA outbreaks at Ipswich Hospital are not being adhered to by medical staff, it was revealed today.
According to a report from the Department of Health, a worrying percentage of staff are not following simple advice about hand hygiene, ward cleanliness and other anti-infection measures.
The news follows a review by a team of experts from the Department of Health, drafted in to look at why the hospital was failing to reduce MRSA cases.
While the team's report recognised the hospital has a clear understanding of MRSA issues and has implemented a number of initiatives to reduce outbreaks, it made 66 recommendations for improvements.
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It said there was a lack of empowerment to challenge medical staff about hygiene and that more training was needed, particularly for junior doctors.
The report said: “reducing infection must be seen to be everyone's business” and that “it is essential medical staff act as role models.”
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Checks surrounding hand hygiene show good results across the organisation, but there is a perception that medical staff are the least compliant.
Advice from the report said: “Ensure all staff understand the rationale behind the need to use gloves, when to wash hands, and when to use gel or rub.”
It was also recommended that the hospital carry out more regular audits to check hand hygiene.
The hospital has now developed an action plan to implement the recommendations.
Jan Rowsell, hospital spokesman, said: “We invited this independent team into the hospital as reducing the number of all infections throughout the trust is our highest priority in terms of clinical care.
“Our board will be presented with not only a report, but a very detailed action plan.
“We also need the community's help, to do things like follow hand washing guidelines and, most importantly, not to come to the hospital as a visitor if they feel unwell or have been in close contact with people who have been unwell.”
The review team visited the hospital for two days, to help deliver the target to halve MRSA cases by next year.
Between July 2005 and June last year, the hospital failed to reach its target for MRSA figures in seven of the 12 months.
Poor examples of hygiene highlighted in the report also included numerous ward areas being cluttered, corridors and ward areas being used for storage and clean and dirty stock being stored too close together.
There were also concerns about the movement of patients, which potentially compromises infection control.
N Do you think the hygiene message is getting through at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org