Hospital staff encouraged to think of new ways to tackle infection

Frontline staff at Southampton’s teaching hospitals are being given the opportunity to design revolutionary infection-busting tools as part of an imaginative new project.

Through the NHS Innovation Village, doctors, nurses and other clinical workers are being given the chance to turn their ideas and solutions to tackle superbugs into reality in half the time it would normally take to develop a new product.

Staff who believe they have a suggestion that could help reduce infections and transform care for patients can fill out a form detailing the outline of their idea or talk to one of Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust’s ‘innovation councillors’.

SUHT is taking part in the Innovation Village initiative as one of eight  "Showcase Hospitals" across England involved in a major NHS project to test new products and technologies that are designed to minimise the risk of MRSA and other infections.

Mary O’Leary, Showcase Hospitals project lead, said: “The Innovation Village allows people at the frontline of healthcare to identify solutions that could help reduce infections and aims to quickly make them a reality.”

Products and tools developed through the programme will not incur any cost to the innovator or the Trust and SUHT will maintain part of the intellectual property.

Latest figures show cases of MRSA across SUHT are down 90% and incidences of Clostridium difficile have fallen by 42%.

From April to October, there were two cases of MRSA compared to 21 for the same period in 2008, while cases of Clostridium difficile were cut from 163 to 95.

Graeme Jones, director of the infection prevention unit, said: “We are making good progress in reducing infection rates and that is testament to the hard work of staff in all departments.”

Posted on Thursday 19 November 2009