Further investment to tackle infections
10 November 2009
Around £275,000 of additional investment is being pumped into helping the continued drive to reduce infection at West Suffolk Hospital.
An extra £250,000 has been earmarked for 24 additional housekeeping staff, while a further £25,000 is being spent on new equipment to monitor the vital signs of patients suspected to be carrying an infection.
This equipment includes fixed blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen level monitors, which will be installed in side rooms across the hospital so that patients with an infection can be isolated and observed without the risk of the infection spreading. Disposable cuffs will be used alongside the machines to further increase safety.
The investment follows a successful project last October to kit out 25 side rooms with dedicated equipment which cannot be moved elsewhere, and will take the total number of isolation rooms with these facilities to 45. In addition, fixed machinery and ECG monitors will also be installed in five cubicles in A&E.
The cash boost comes just days after European and international representatives from leading medical equipment specialists GE Healthcare visited the trust and praised its existing infection control practices as “unique” within the UK.
“We first introduced fixed machines and disposable cuffs in our highest priority side rooms last October,” said Tracey Oats, senior matron for surgery. “They have proved a huge success, helping us to drive down infection rates across the trust still further.
“These extra measures allow us to monitor isolated patients using specially dedicated equipment, which significantly reduces the risk of the infection spreading to others. Once the patient using the machine has been discharged, the side room and equipment are deep cleaned or disposed of ready for the next patient.
“We believe we are the only hospital in the country to have introduced this system – and it was extremely pleasing to receive such positive feedback from GE’s representatives, who described our practices as unique within the UK.
“We are committed to continually driving down incidents of infection at West Suffolk, and our record over recent years has been excellent. This extra investment once again proves that infection control is something the trust takes extremely seriously.”
As well as the five machines in A&E, monitors will also be added in paediatrics, gynaecology and obstetrics. The hospital expects to take delivery of the new equipment next week.