QE's best ever year for reducing infection

Posted on Fri, 25/07/2014

So far, 2014 has been the best ever year for the prevention and reduction of infection at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 

QE Gateshead adopts a zero tolerance approach to all avoidable infections including Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and has had zero reported cases of MRSA bacteraemia up until July 2014. 

The hospital now has one of the lowest Meticillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA) bacteraemia rates in the region during 2013/14 and has reduced cases of Escherichia coli by 53% against the same reporting period last year.  

The infection prevention and control team has done lots of work to help and educate not only staff but visitors of the impact that they can have on infection rates in the hospital. A number of life-size pop-up banners of the infection prevention team now greets visitors at most entrances asking them to wash their hands before and after visiting, and to stay away if they aren’t well. 

Phil Pugh, Head of Infection Prevention and Control at QE Gateshead said: “A zero tolerance approach is taken by the Trust towards all avoidable healthcare associated infection. Good infection prevention and control is essential to ensure that our patients receive safe and effective care and our staff are protected. We strive for the prevention and control of infection to continue to be part of everyday practice and be applied consistently by all staff.”

The hospital has also seen a reduction in outbreaks of infection. An outbreak is the occurrence of two or more actual or potentially related infections within a ward or department. The Trust has only experienced two outbreaks to date in this financial year demonstrating a reduction of 82% against last year’s figures to date.

Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) presents a key challenge to patient safety across not only our trust, but others too. Last year the trust reported a total of 20 positive cases of CDI however this year only 5 cases have been reported to date. 

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