NHS Wiltshire Clinical Commissioning Group acknowledges the importance of preventing infections in our patients and is committed to trying to achieve zero incidents of avoidable infections. The CCG has recently appointed two specialist infection prevention and control nurses who work with colleagues from within the CCG and all care providers, including hospitals, to support the prevention of infections in our patients. This includes working across organisational boundaries to investigate significant infection events and support continuous improvement.
The Infection Prevention Team consists of Sue Thompson, Infection Prevention Nurse, and Helen Forrest, Infection Control Lead Nurse.
Infection Prevention Work programme
The programme involves supporting providers of health and social care to prevent infection in their settings. The requirements for registered providers of healthcare are set out in The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice for the Prevention and Control of Infections and related guidance, often referred to as ‘The Code’. An annual programme of work is agreed by the Governing Body and progress reported quarterly.
The team provide specialist advice and support to CCG colleagues ensuring expectations around IPC are set out during the contracting process and monitoring arrangements are included across acute, community and independent providers to ensure Infection prevention and control standards are met.
Consultation & Collaboration
IPC advice is provided to healthcare settings without an infection prevention team of their own for example GP practices within Wiltshire
IPC advice is provided to residential and nursing homes via the Wiltshire Infection Prevention Network (WIN)
The team also work collaboratively with Local Public Health Teams on key Infection Prevention issues that affect the wider community.
Audit is supported in care homes, dental practice and general practice in addition to advice and support on improving practices and the environment to reduce the risk of infection.
The team works closely with prescribing leads and pharmacy teams across Wiltshire where we promote the best use of antibiotics in accordance with the Department of Health’s UK Five Year Antimicrobial Resistance Strategy 2013-2018 and NHS Wiltshire CCG Guidelines for Antibiotic Prescribing in the Community 2013-15.
Education and Training is provided to help build capacity and resilience in Infection Prevention Leads via the Wiltshire Infection Prevention Network, enabling a good understanding of what The Code of Practice expects to meet registration standards and to provide safe, high quality care in the provider settings.
As well as the WIN web page the IPCT produce a Care Home newsletter, which gives practical advice and shares learning.
Surveillance and Control
A national system of mandatory surveillance is in place requiring laboratories to notify Public Health England when certain infections have been identified. The team monitors the incidence of infection locally and report progress against targets to the Governing Body. Reduction plans for specific infections are devised locally based on the findings of investigations. We actively promote good communication between providers to ensure that lessons learned about preventing infection are shared.
The team is participating in a joint Public Health England and NHS Wiltshire CCG initiative in Enhanced Surveillance of Community Associated Clostridium difficile infection. The aim being to collect information on the risk factors of this infection to better understand which factors significantly influence its development, in order to inform future local initiatives and reduce the incidence overall.
You can contact the team via WCCG.firstname.lastname@example.org
The national specifications for cleanliness: Guidance on setting and measuring performance outcomes in care homes and associated audit tool
Management and disposal of healthcare waste (HTM 07-01) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-the-safe-management-of-healthcare-waste