Specialists to tackle superbugs

ROTHERHAM Hospital has set up a new specialist team to help prevent infections such as the deadly C-difficile, linked to 90 patient deaths across the UK.

Monday, 15th October 2007, 8:35 am
Updated Monday, 15th October 2007, 11:11 am

The new Deep Cleaning Team is being paid for out of 250,000 extra funding from the government to help reduce the infection risk.

The Department of Health has allocated an additional 50 million to the NHS to tackle the growing risk from bugs such as MRSA and C-difficile right across the UK.

The move comes after it was revealed police and health and safety officials are investigating a number of hospitals in the south of England where patients have died as a result of contracting the deadly bugs.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Today the hospital said the new team would back up existing cleaning services at the big Moorgate Road hospital.

It will be sent in to undertake extra thorough cleaning in specific wards and clinical areas where the threat of infections may be greater.

Some of the extra funding will also be spent on other measures to fight infection, including taking on specialist staff and more signs to warn visitors to wash their hands.

Facilities manager Donna Jones said: "The new team is undertaking cleaning in a very focused and targeted way. Although domestic services staff do an excellent job of maintaining cleanliness on wards, occasionally an area needs a total overhaul. The new team are carrying out the equivalent of a spring clean on the targeted area."

Hospital bosses say cleaning alone cannot totally eradicate infections, and it is up to patients, hospital staff, clinicians and visitors to help stop the spread when it first appears.

As part of the battle against infection the hospital will also take on an antibiotic pharmacy specialist and another infection control nurse on a 12-month secondment.

Ms Jones said: "While antibiotics are used to treat C-difficile diarrhoea, many others are known to increase the likelihood of some people developing the bacteria, so accurate prescribing is a key part in controlling this type of infection.

"The role of the additional infection control nurse will include focusing on asepsis, used to reduce the risk of infection as a result of invasive procedures. Some of the money is also being spent on signs to raise awareness of good infection control practice, especially hand hygiene in relation to visitors."