What are we doing to prevent infection?
The infection prevention department
The infection prevention department is made up of nursing staff and microbiologists, and is closely supported by the consultant pharmacist in anti-infectives, laboratory and administrative staff.
Based at Southampton General Hospital, the department also covers the Princess Anne Hospital, Countess Mountbatten House and the New Forest Birth Centre, as well as some services at the Royal South Hants.
The department provides clinical specialist advice and support on all aspects of infection prevention and control, and works with hospital staff to ensure infections identified in patients are assessed and managed effectively.The infection prevention nurses provide education and training, and regularly link with staff.
The department is involved in developing policies and guidelines and ensuring they are implemented. This includes promoting the Trust's antibiotic guidelines, ensuring judicious and wise use of antibiotics.
Contact the team on 023 8120 4672 or email InfectionControlTeam@uhs.nhs.uk.
Measures we are taking to prevent infection
Screening for MRSA (statement of compliance)
In line with the Department of Health recommendations, UHS have extended the MRSA screening programme to include emergency admissions as well as elective (pre-booked) admissions. MRSA screening swabs are now taken for all emergency and elective patients. For details see our MRSA policy.
Promoting high standards of hand hygiene
Hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection and illness within hospitals. The Trust regularly audits compliance on every ward and clinical department.
Hand washing facilities are available in all clinical areas, and alcohol gel is available in all clinical areas at every bed space and treatment area.
You can expect your hospital environment to be clean and tidy. Senior clinical nurses (our modern matrons) oversee the cleaning of clinical areas, and audits are carried out by a specialist team to ensure a high standard is maintained.
If you have any concerns about cleanliness please speak to the person in charge of that ward or department.
Care of intravenous devices also known as drips, IVI or IVs (intravenous infusions)
Staff are trained and assessed on inserting intravenous cannulae correctly, reducing the risk of infection.
Staff education and training
New staff receive infection prevention and control training on induction, and all staff receive regular reminders and updates on protecting patients. We have an annual programme of awareness raising and educational campaigns.
Raising the profile of infection prevention
The team has worked to raise the profile of this area within the Trust, and at Board level.
Antibiotics and treatment
The Trust has a dedicated consultant pharmacist in antibiotic management. We use antibiotics according to well-established guidelines - sometimes to prevent infection (before and after some operations) and sometimes to treat a known infection.
The infection prevention team monitor infections within the Trust, including healthcare associated infections.
Monitoring staff practice to prevent and control infections
We use observation of staff practice and audits to ensure infection prevention best practice guidelines and policies are being followed.
Learning from infection incidents and outbreaks
The Trust is committed to learning from incidents, ensuring that infection related incidents and outbreaks are fully investigated and actions put in place to ensure similar incidents do not happen again.