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Infection prevention and control

Our priority is to keep our staff and patients safe. Healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) remain a serious health risk and it's important to stay cautious and help protect yourself and others.   

Our infection, prevention and control (IPaC) team works hard to provide advice and support on all matters relating to the prevention and control of HCAIs and our staff support our population to stay safe by:   

  • Completing IPaC training  

  • Participating in hand hygiene audits  

  • Completing environmental audits  

  • Minimising sharps injuries  

  • Ensuring there are robust routines for the decontamination, cleaning and surveillance of medical equipment  

  • Adhering to national and local guidance

Organisms aren’t fussy about who spreads them, so we all need to be careful. Here are some simple things we can all do to help prevent the spread of infections:  

  • Wash and clean your hands thoroughly and regularly

  • Wash your hands with water and soap or use hand sanitisers (where hands are visibly clean) whenever you enter and leave a clinical area. This will help protect you and those around you.  

  • Wash your hands with water and soap after visiting the toilet.  

It's important that you inform the team/service who your appointment is with if you can't attend, are symptomatic or feel unwell. 

 IPaC guidelines   

The Trust now uses the national IPaC manual (NIPCM) as the main source for IPaC specific guidelines for staff to refer to.  

The NIPCM is widely used by most NHS organisations within England to support and facilitate healthcare providers to demonstrate compliance with the 10 criteria of the Health and Social Care Act 2008.  

The NIPCM has been produced to:  

  • Provide an evidence-based practice manual for use by all those involved in care provision in England and should be adopted as guidance in NHS settings or settings where NHS services are delivered, and the principles should be applied in all care settings.  

  • Ensure a consistent UK-wide approach to infection prevention and control, however some operational and organisational details may differ across the nations.  

Hand hygiene  

Hand hygiene is considered one of the most important ways to reduce the transmission of infectious agents that cause HCAIs.  

All clinical staff undertake an annual hand hygiene assessment by using a UV lotion and light. The assessment is mandatory and looks at staff hand decontamination (use of water and soap, hand sanitiser etc), skin integrity and staff knowledge. Staff uptake is reported to the Trust monthly. Additional guidance and resources are available via the NIPCM.  

Personal protective equipment

Before undertaking any procedure, staff should assess any likely exposure to blood and/or other body fluids, non-intact skin or mucous membranes and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that protects adequately against the risks associated with the procedure. The principles of PPE use are set out in the NIPCM and are important to ensure that PPE is used correctly to ensure patient and staff safety. Avoiding overuse or inappropriate use of PPE is a key principle that ensures this is risk-based and minimises its environmental impact.  

PPE items include:

  • Gloves (sterile and non-sterile)  

  • Aprons/gowns  

  • Eye/face protection  

  • Fluid resistant surgical face masks  

 Clean and safe environment  

It's the responsibility of the person in charge to ensure that the care environment is safe for practice (this includes environmental cleanliness/maintenance).  

The care environment must be:  

  • Visibly clean, free from non-essential items and equipment to facilitate effective cleaning 

  • Well maintained and in a good state of repair

  • Routinely cleaned in accordance with the 2021 national cleaning standards

All areas have been assessed by the cleaning contractor with the support of the Trust. Sites are routinely audited as per the 2021 standards and the results are displayed (star ratings) within the department where visitors can see.  

All Trust premises undergo routine quality checks and planned maintenance on water and ventilation. Reports are presented to the Trust’s water and ventilation safety group on a quarterly basis.  

 Anti-microbial  

The pharmacy team's vision is to promote the safe and effective use of medicines for our patients.  

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global problem that impacts all countries and all people, regardless of their wealth or status. The scale of the AMR threat, and the need to contain and control it, is widely acknowledged by country governments, international agencies, researchers and private companies alike.  

Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust works alongside the Integrated Care Boards to ensure we adhere to the British National Formulary (BNF/BNFC) and locally agreed antibiotic formularies within the East of England region. Prescribing teams undertake quarterly audits to ensure compliance with national standards which are shared with our colleagues.  

You'll find a short, animated explanation of AMR here

 Waste  

As a producer of various waste streams, Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust recognises that it has legal and moral duties to ensure that these materials are disposed of safely and in compliance with the appropriate legislation.  

We're working towards compliance with the latest health technical memorandum (HTM 07-01: safe and sustainable management of healthcare waste updated March 2023). This details the environmental benefits of the safe management and disposal of healthcare waste. It also presents opportunities for cost savings, safer working practices and reducing carbon emissions related to the management of waste. 

Occupational health  

We subscribe to two occupational health services providing a broad range of services to support Trust staff and managers, namely:  

  • Telephone and face-to face consultations with employees referred by their manager

  • Sickness absence advice  

  • Rehabilitation advice  

  • Redeployment advice  

  • Ill health retirement advice and support  

  • Liaison with employee’s clinicians  

  • Health surveillance, i.e. latex glove use, skin assessment, respiratory assessment, etc.  

  • Immunisation, i.e. MMR, chicken pox, hepatitis b, tetanus, diphtheria and polio, etc.  

  • Risk assessment of individuals, i.e. blood borne viruses assessment, driver assessment, maternity advice, needlestick or sharps injuries, night worker health assessment, pre-employment health assessment, etc.  

An A-Z of causative organisms can be found here.

IPaC link champions  

Our IPaC link champions are nominated members of staff who receive support to embed best practice in relation to infection prevention and control within their clinical areas and support improvements to patient care and safety.  

The champions utilise the World Health Organisation's five moments of hand hygiene as the framework for the programme. Hand hygiene, including audit of practice, is a key focus for the champions.  

External links  

 

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