Posted on Wednesday 9th March 2011
Hospital staff demonstrate good hand hygiene
Clinical staff at north Cumbria’s two hospitals are continuing to win the battle against infection on the wards, latest figures show.
Hard work by clinical teams to minimise infections means there have been no post-48 hour MRSA bacteraemia for a full nine months at West Cumberland Hospital in Whitehaven, and the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle.
There have been just two cases in the whole financial year – one in April 2010 and one in May – putting North Cumbria University Hospitals well on course to stay below the target set by the Department of Health of no more than six for the year, which ends on 31 March 2011.
The figures record cases of MRSA bacteraemia which occurred in patients more than 48 hours after admission, which can therefore be attributed to the hospital. Last year (2009/10) there were nine cases in total, so this year is showing a significant improvement.
The Trust is also performing very well on Clostridium difficile. There were just 49 cases of the infection attributed to the Trust in the first eight months of the financial year, to January 2011. The target is to remain below 120 for the year, and the efforts of hospital staff mean the Trust is well on track to achieve this.
Last year there were 130 cases attributed to the Trust, against a target of no more than 156, so this year’s figures indicate a dramatic fall.
At this yesterday’s monthly Trust Board meeting, Trust Chairman Mike Little paid tribute to the work of the infection prevention and control teams at both hospitals for their efforts in continuing to cut infection rates.
He said: “We know this is important to our patients. Our clinical staff need to be congratulated for this significant reduction in infection rates especially during the winter period when infection rates can rise.
“They have put many new practices in place which has also ensured we have not been affected anything like we were last year with Norovirus.”
Dr. Manjula Meda, Consultant Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The reduction in infection rates across the Trust is due to the hard work and determination of not only the infection prevention and control team but also to every member of staff who has given infection prevention the highest priority at all times.
“Specific steps that have been taken to address this have included ensuring that cleanliness is to the highest standards, promoting hand hygiene and ensuring that antibiotics are being used prudently. It is however important to remember there is still a lot be done and achieved especially with the winter months still posing threats such as influenza and norovirus.