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North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust - 70 years of the NHS


Home > News > No MRSA bacteraemia for two years in North Cumbria's hospitals

No MRSA bacteraemia for two years in North Cumbria's hospitals

Posted on Monday 9th July 2012

North Cumbria’s two main hospitals – the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle and Whitehaven’s West Cumberland Hospital – continue to make excellent progress in reducing healthcare-associated infections and there has not been a single hospital-acquired MRSA bacteraemia in the hospitals for over two years.

The Trust is also performing well on Clostridium difficile. There were 53 attributed cases of the infection last year against a target of less than 69 cases.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust has concentrated on a number of measures in its infection control and infection prevention work.

Further education and training has taken place at ward / department level ensuring those staff directly involved in patient care are aware of the five-moments of hand hygiene practice:

  • Before patient contact
  • Before an aseptic task
  • After body fluid exposure
  • After patient contact
  • After contact with patient surroundings5

Saving Lives audits are carried out regularly on all wards which measure and monitor practice to minimise the risk of infection. These audits cover a range of interventions including hand hygiene, monitoring of peripheral and central venous catheterisation; urinary catheterisation, ward or departmental cleaning and the reduction of Clostridium difficile. The audit results are displayed in ward areas and reported to the Trust’s Governance Committee for regularly monitoring.

We have also been using glow-light technology to monitor cleanliness within the hospitals. This is where an ultra-violet spray is used on furniture and fittings (such as door handles and toilets) and equipment (such as commodes and bed tables). Twenty-four hours later, an ultra-violet light is shone on the sprayed areas and will reveal if the areas has not been cleaned properly. The audits are then reviewed and monitored by the Infection Prevention team.

In the coming year, the Trust will focus on antibiotic prescribing and monitoring.

Dr Clive Graham, Consultant Microbiologist and Clinical Lead for Support Services, for North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: “The reduction in infection rates across the hospitals is due to the hard work and determination of not only the infection prevention and control teams but also to every member of staff who has made infection prevention their 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. Reducing infection rates to such a degree should reassure our patients and it will remain our number one priority.”