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Advocating the importance of infection control

Jennie Malley, a Regional Manager for Hilton Nursing Partners

Infection Control is an essential discipline within the healthcare industry, and one which has shown significant improvement in recent years.

In 2014, it was reported that contractions of MRSA bloodstream infections had decreased from 1.3% in 2006, to less than 0.1% in 2011 [1]. Whilst, from the period of 3rd July until 2nd November there have been 803 laboratory reports of Norovirus in England and Wales; 12% lower than the past 5 seasons from 2009-2016 [2].

It can of course be difficult to predict all epidemics but there are common inevitable infections and viruses which are easily spread if not controlled, and healthcare organisations are consistently fighting to protect patients, their families and staff from these.

Hilton Nursing Partners, the UK’s leader in innovative hospital discharge services, has introduced a unique approach to fight infection control. It has launched an Infection Control Champions team, a comprehensive infection control training programme, advocated by Hilton Nursing Partners’ staff members. Hilton’s management team recognised the need for accurate infection policies and procedures in the industry to assist patients with a safe recovery, and to deter re-admission to hospital after discharge.

Jennie Malley, a Regional Manager for Hilton Nursing Partners and a former Infection Control nurse, shares an insight into Hilton’s approach to infection control.

“The Infection Control Champions are representatives from each team across Hilton, who share an interest in advocating the importance of infection control.

“Their role is to share information and knowledge with their teams and support best practice and adherence for infection control policies and processes throughout Hilton. Beyond internal communication and practice, the aim is that ultimately patient care will be supported by increased knowledge and awareness of infection rates.

“The Champion team meet regularly and complete an extensive training programme to support their ongoing development. Each training session focuses on particular infections, for example so far, we have covered Lice and Fleas within a session, and Norovirus and Flu in another. Within a typical training session, we begin by reflecting on the last session we have had before. This allows us to analyse as a group whether knowledge has been taken on board and how individual teams have moved forward with policy implementations.

“We run through an overview of the infection in discussion, before reviewing our duty to each patient in protecting the spread of this infection.

“We analyse case studies of how to approach an infection and the extra precautions needed to control infection transmission. With many infections having different symptoms – some silent – it is essential to be cautious at all times and act quickly.

“We give our Infection Control champions the opportunity to elect the next infection they would like us to cover in the subsequent session, and we have already confirmed our next session will cover MRSA.

“Targeting just one or two infections in one session means that we can go into much more depth and improve respective approaches as necessary. It leads to more thorough discussion and action, and can be taken on board simply when applied to existing infection control policies.

“The healthcare industry has a great understanding of the need for improved infection control. At Hilton, we are passionate about advocating this and within our role – lowering the rates of re-admission to hospital after discharge. We hope that we continue to see decreases in infection contractions across the country in the years to come as awareness continues to be raised.”

 

[1] NICE Guidance – Infection prevention and control – Quality standard [QS61] Published date: April 2014. https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/qs61 (Accessed 6 November 2017)

 

[2] PHE National norovirus and rotavirus Report – Summary of surveillance of norovirus and rotavirus 02 November 2017 – Week 44 report (data to week 42). https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/656451/Norovirus_update_2017_week_42.pdf (Accessed 6 November 2017)

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