Bedford Hospital NHS Trust
Infection Control Seminar

and Bedford Hospital Tour

16 October 2007

MRSA Action UK would like to thank the Bedford NHS Trust for their hospitality, and for giving us an opportunity to give the presentation "A Healthcare Infection, A Life-Time Legacy".


The presentation was well received and there was a large attendance to listen to the patient / relative's perspective.  The audience consisted of a mixture of staff from management, doctors, nurses and cleaners.


The hospital were running a hand-hygiene awareness week, and our presentation was part of raising the profile on the importance of hand-hygiene in the fight to reduce healthcare infections in the Trust.


After giving the presentation Derek Butler, Chair, was invited to tour the hospital and to visit various wards of his choosing.  Derek visited the C.diff Cohort Ward and spoke to the staff nursing those suffering from C.diff.  The impression that Derek received after speaking to the staff, was of a group of people very dedicated and professional in their approach to nursing sufferers of this infection.


Derek was shown the work in progress by the staff on improving the environment in that ward, and how they are giving more space between patient beds by having installed isolation rooms within the ward area.  What impressed Derek greatly, was that here you had staff who were designing the environment for the patient and for themselves to make their work of infection control both easier and safer.


Staff had introduced a changing room for themselves as part of the redesign so that they could change in and out of the hospital clothing, and return home without having to wear their uniforms outside the hospital environment.


Derek also visited the hospital's ICU ward and viewed a unit with state of the art equipment in an environment that was both clean and well ordered.  This ICU ward has twelve beds, four of which are individual rooms with air-lock entries as part of the infection control system to prevent the spread of healthcare infections.


Another area that Derek visited included the washroom which consisted of a bed-wash facility where the beds are put through a type of "car-wash" decontamination system.  The beds are sent down to this facility on a rotating basis, but are also decontaminated after patients are discharged from hospital.  This facility was also used to decontaminate bins, buckets and mop-buckets, commodes and wheel-chairs.


Another aspect of the decontamination system demonstrated by the manager of the cleaners, was all brushes and mop-heads are put into a washing machine, again with chlorine based disinfectant.  There was also a facility for decontaminating the mattresses and pillows after use by each patient.


The impressive facility was designed to be able to decontaminate most anything in the hospital.


All the cleaners who work in the hospital are in-house cleaners, therefore part of what they call the family.  All new entrants to this kind of work are given thorough training as part of an induction course, and attend regular health and safety courses as part of their employment.


The impression that's been left from this visit is of a hospital that is investing resources in a priority issue of fighting healthcare infections.  From talking to people from the management side, there is what could be termed a partnership from both management and staff in a coherent system with one aim in mind, to reduce avoidable healthcare infections to as low as possible.


The biggest and most lasting impression left with Derek was that of the Lead Nurse for Infection Control at the hospital, Juliet Magee, who you might say has an infectious approach in striving to reduce avoidable healthcare infections in her hospital.


MRSA Action UK has been asked by Juliet to form a working partnership with the Trust and to have regular contact and visits, so that we can both work together for the benefit of the patients and the staff in the hospital.  We look forward to working with, and learning from each others experiences to disseminate good practice.

Derek Butler

17 October 2007


MRSA Action UK