Wards to be surveyed in infection fight

EVERY ward at Ipswich Hospital is to be surveyed for infections as part of a national research project, nurses revealed today.As the hospital continues its fight against superbugs and so-called Health Care Associated Infections (HCAIs), a team of specialist infection control staff will be surveying patients to produce a snapshot of how well the hospital's measures are working.

EVERY ward at Ipswich Hospital is to be surveyed for infections as part of a national research project, nurses revealed today.

As the hospital continues its fight against superbugs and so-called Health Care Associated Infections (HCAIs), a team of specialist infection control staff will be surveying patients to produce a snapshot of how well the hospital's measures are working.

Lesley Taylor, the hospital's specialist infection control nurse, said: “I think we will get some very useful information out of it and it will also be good for the public to have the figures.

“We're aiming to cover the whole hospital, visiting each ward once and looking at every patient on that ward to see whether they have an infection or not.”

The results of the survey, which is covering all wards except the children's wards, will go towards the Health Protection Agency's National Prevalence Survey, which is covering hospitals across the UK. The document will be published in October.

Mrs Taylor said awareness of infection control is sharper at the hospital now than it has ever been.

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She said: “For patients there are many costs of infections, both personal and economic, if it means they take longer to get better.

“As a trust there's clearly an economic cost and also a reputation cost involved with infections and I think we are all much more aware of that now.”

As well as taking part in the survey, the hospital is required to record its MRSA rates by the government, and is making steady progress at bringing these down. Their most recent figures show that there were 33 cases of MRSA bloodstream infections between April and December 2005.

In the last six months the hospital has been concentrating on strengthening its infection control team and, in November, appointed an audit and surveillance officer whose job is to monitor infection rates in the hospital.

The team carry out regular unannounced inspections of wards, rating them for cleanliness.

Do you think Ipswich Hospital is getting better at preventing infections? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

WEBLINK: www.ipswichhospital.nhs.uk

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