Reducing HCAIs 2010

Maintaining patient safety: Breaking the cycle of infection
Tuesday 21 June 2011, The Brewery, London
Our Patron Edwina Currie joined the debate as special guest contributor at GovToday's Maintaining Patient Safety: Breaking the Cycle of Infection Conference and Exhibition.  The event was chaired by ITN's medical correspondent Sue Saville, and was well attended with eminent speakers lending their expertise to tackling healthcare associated infections.  Of specific interest were the presentations on hand hygiene and the panel debate, where the subject of universal screening was discussed.  The failure to involve the charity in the review of screening was raised by Derek Butler.  Although many of those in attendance at the conference believed it was not necessary to undertake universal screening, there were those who believed that the policy needed to be considered carefully before making any decisions to revert to risk based screening.  A significant factor that was revealed in relation to the MRSA / MSSA screening of all in patients at Blackpool Victoria NHS Trust, those that would be considered high risk did not show a high level of colonisation.  The data will be analysed and the debate goes on, Edwina made a valid point to the Minister who attended at the end of the afternoon panel debate, and that was to listen to the patients.

Professor Didier Pittet's presentation reinforced what we have been saying all along, a good public information campaign is needed to promote hand-hygiene. 


Didier's presentation evidenced quite clearly the reduction in absenteeism in both schools and workplaces where campaigns had taken place, and getting children involved at a very young age sets the scene for their future behaviour.  There was an opportunity to meet with fellow members of the Hand Hygiene Alliance and plan for the future with regards to how we can influence the government's agenda in relation to keeping hand hygiene well and truly a top priority, not just in healthcare but in the wider community.


Lord Howe attended at the end of the conference and announced the award that would go to the TEAM project from the Department of Health's Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund.


Building a strong voluntary sector is key to delivering NHS reforms and at the centre of the vision for the Big Society.  It is hoped the Government's plans to modernise the NHS will create huge opportunities for the voluntary sector in the NHS and social care.


This year the Department of Health will continue to invest in the Voluntary Sector Investment Fund to a value of 18.13 million including 3.34million for new awards under the 2011-12 Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund which will support 57 projects around the country.


The Department of Health's Innovation, Excellence and Service Development Fund has awarded 231,060 pounds to the TEAM project over a period of two years.   



Last year Edwina Currie gave a moving and passionate presentation by telling the stories of seven people who had died from MRSA, only one of whom had this recognised on the death certificate.  Slides showing numbers of Clostridium difficile cases prompted some debate.  The North West had the highest number of cases than any other region, with two thirds being in the community. Edwina said she would put money on this being due to antibiotic prescribing policies and quoted good practice in other Trusts.  This year some of those Trusts have improved greatly, so some of the criticism of the charity for highlighting and naming those who we thought could improve paid dividends as we now look to them to share their good practice.


If you or someone you care about has been affected by a healthcare infection and you wish to discuss this with us, please contact us at