Cash boost worth £1m to combat infection

Heather Trouton (Assistant Director of Acute Services), Shane Devlin (Chief Executive), Kate Kelly (IPC Nurse), Dr Martin Brown (Consultant Microbiologist), Colin Clarke (IPC Lead), Annette O'Hara (IPC Nurse), Roberta Brownlee (Chair),  Dr Ahmed Khan (Interim Medical Director)
Heather Trouton (Assistant Director of Acute Services), Shane Devlin (Chief Executive), Kate Kelly (IPC Nurse), Dr Martin Brown (Consultant Microbiologist), Colin Clarke (IPC Lead), Annette O'Hara (IPC Nurse), Roberta Brownlee (Chair), Dr Ahmed Khan (Interim Medical Director)

With global epidemic threats increasing, the Southern Health Trust has launched a three year strategy, aimed at reducing health care associated infections.

“Patient safety is always our top priority” says Dr Ahmed Khan, Interim Medical Director, “but delivering best practice in infection prevention and control (IPC) every single day is central to achieving this aim”.

“Thanks to our staff, we have a strong reputation for very high IPC standards, but with global epidemic threats increasing and fears of antibiotic resistance at an all-time high, we must redouble our efforts”.

“We are therefore launching this new 10 point plan which is designed to ensure excellence in IPC practice. It’s about going back to basics and reminding every member of staff that IPC is not an option. Protecting patients must be everyone’s top priority.”

The strategy covers key areas such as: clean hands, clean place and best antibiotic usage. Ambitious plans include increasing the number of isolation facilities across the Trust, recruiting additional specialist staff and introducing further measures to support all staff to achieve the very best IPC standards every day.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Michael McBride said: “Health care associated infections can be prevented when robust IPC measures are in place and relentlessly applied. This new strategy will provide extra support to enable staff to deliver the highest possible standards of care and eradicate preventable health care associated infections. It will ensure that IPC is embedded at every level throughout the Trust; that use of antimicrobial therapy is prudent and that visitors and patients will also be aware of the role they all have to play in reducing infection.”

A first of its type in NI and developed by the Trust’s IPC nurses, a new guide provides immediate access to help health professionals risk assess and manage patients with suspected infections.