Tackling healthcare associated infections outside of hospital 

MRSA Action UK at The Improvement Foundation Conference

Hardwick Hall, Sedgefield, 13th October 2008


A national initiative has been launched in the North East to Tackle Healthcare Associated Infections Outside of Hospital and 50 Care Homes have agreed to participate in the first wave of the Programme.


This unique Programme offered by the Improvement Foundation provides an integrated programme of support to help tackle MRSA, Clostridium difficile and other infections in the Care Home setting to complement the work already being undertaken locally and nationally, as a joined up holistic approach is needed to reduce the incidence of infections throughout the healthcare environment.


Cutting the rates of healthcare associated infections is a key priority in health policy and increased media attention has brought about the issue of infection to the public eye.  The Programme is aligned to current Government policy and objectives and enables a multi agency approach in tackling healthcare associated infections by bringing together the NHS, the Independent Sector and Local Authorities.


MRSA Action UK were pleased to able to take part in the programme of educational workshops facilitated by the Improvement Foundation.  Derek Butler gave two moving presentations on the patients' perspective, giving a personal insight on the effects of contracting a healthcare infection and the importance of having the systems in place to make sure that patients are cared for and nurtured in a safe environment.


Derek's speech highlights the importance of getting the basics right and using systems of work that will ensure the patient is not put at risk.  Derek describes quality of care at both ends of the spectrum experienced by his family and that of other patients.  A person caring for a patient can only ever be as good as the system that supports them.  In terms of the risk of contracting an infection, care given in the 1960s was far less likely to result in the contraction of an infection - Why?  Because everything possible was done to make sure that patients at risk were not exposed to infection, cleanliness, asepsis were practiced assiduously as Derek's experience describes.


Presentations included:


Healthcare associated infections across the health and social care community

Professor Brian Duerden CBE, Inspector of Microbiology and Infection Control, Department of Health, London


Proposed Changes for Health and Social Care - What Will it Mean for Care Homes

Philip Lewer, Deputy Regional Director for Health and Social Care Yorkshire and Humber, Department of Health


Protocols and Management of Clostridium difficile and
Management of MRSA within Care Homes

Jean Armstrong, Infection Prevention and Control Lead Nurse, County Durham PCT and Darlington PCT


A Healthcare Infection: A Life Time Legacy

Derek Butler, Chair, MRSA Action UK


HCAIs: Theories, Enigmas and Practical Approaches to Good Practice

Dr Bharat Patel, Consultant Medical Microbiologist, Health Protection Agency, London


Working with Care Homes - National Developments, Progress, Challenges & Targets

Ginny Edwards, Head of Targeted Support Team, Department of Health