Hospitals losing fight to defeat superbugs

#1
Here
TimesOnline said:
June 18, 2007
Hospitals losing fight to defeat superbugs

By David Rose
One in four NHS trusts is failing the latest government targets on cleanliness and tackling superbug infections, figures published today reveal.

Fewer hospitals and NHS trusts than last year can demonstrate that they are maintaining standards on cleanliness and infection control, despite the introduction of a strict "hygiene code" to eradicate illness caused by MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

Figures released by the Healthcare Commission show that six out of ten trusts in England have reported failing one or more of the twenty-four "core standards" on all aspects of care, on which they are assessed by the NHS watchdog.

Particular problems include failing to decontaminate reusable medical devices, to reduce healthcare-associated infections and to supply the latest recommended treatments for patients. There was also a slight decline in the number of trusts saying they met two standards on treating patients with dignity and respect.

The findings are based on 394 reports by the trusts themselves on their ability to meet the core standards. They show that 40 per cent believe that they met all the requirements in 2006-07, up from 34 per cent in 2005-06.
But 55 trusts (14 per cent) said that they had not met, or lacked evidence to say that they had met, the standard on reducing the risk from infections such as C. difficile, double the 7 per cent from last year.

A similar proportion also said that they had not met, or could not prove that they had met, the standard to disinfect medical equipment properly. In addition, 43 trusts (11 per cent) had failed adequately to keep wards clean and buildings in good order.

Overall, 99 trusts (25 per cent) had failed one or more aspects of a hygiene code, a set of 11 compulsory duties to prevent or cope with hospital superbugsthat was introduced in October 2006.

Inspectors are carrying out unannounced checks on infection control in 120 trusts, and hospitals have been told that they could be served improvement notices if they fail to tackle the bugs.

In April, statistics from the Health Protection Agency (HPA), the public health watchdog, showed that there were 55,681 cases of C. difficile in patients aged 65 and over in England in 2006. That figure was up by 8 per cent on 2005.

MRSA bloodstream infection figures revealed 1,542 cases in England between October and December 2006, down 7 per cent on the previous quarter. Despite this fall, the Government is expected to miss its target of halving MRSA rates before next April. Today's report lists 15 trusts who know that they will get a "weak" rating in this year's check by the Healthcare Commission. They have already said that they cannot meet 14 or more of the 24 requirements on care.

Four trusts did not meet any of the three standards relating to the hygiene code, the commission said. These were the Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust, Sheffield Primary Care Trust, Sutton and Merton Primary Care Trust and Wiltshire Primary Care Trust.

The Royal Cornwall was identified this month as being in financial difficulty when the Government published figures on NHS deficits.

A further one in ten trusts could not say that they conformed to guidelines regarding recommended new treatments and medicines.

The commission will now investigate one in five NHS trusts in England before publishing its final report in October.

Anna Walker, the commission's chief executive, said that there were several possible reasons for the failures on hygiene, but the commission wanted to "applaud trusts that have put their hands up" and declared failures. "The first step to sorting out a problem is recognising you have one," she said. "That is the action of an honest and responsible board that wants to make improvements and get these standards in place for patients."

Opposition parties called the findings uanacceptable. Norman Lamb, the Lib Dem health spokesman, said: "There has to be a cultural change within hospitals. Three quarters are successfully implementing effective measures – there is no excuse for others not to follow.

"There has to be a zero-tolerance approach to tackling superbugs. It is shocking that, after countless government initiatives, the number of hospitals failing to protect patients from these infections has doubled."
A Department of Health spokesman said: "It is encouraging that, for many standards, over 90 per cent of trusts were able to report compliance . . . Where there is evidence of a problem, it is important that individual organisations ensure that they have plans and processes in place to improve.

"The review process will help the trust to develop solutions with their SHA, and this is part of the declaration process."
 
#2
They're only failing in some parts of the hospitals. Slip them anything up to 100 quid a day and they'll let you in to the sparkly clean private ward.

Squallor and death from infection is for the unprofitable patients who can't afford to buy their way out of it.
 
#3
lf you actually work in the catering organisation, you would not be allowed into/leave work in your uniform, due to hygiene reasons. However, it is acceptable, for nurses/auxielleries/others within hospital employment to arrive/leave wearing their uniforms!

Recently, l was surprised to see a patient stood at the bus-stop, outside a certain hospital in Surrey, smoking a cigarette, wearing a hospital gown and a pair of slippers; and nothing else...... This type of behaviour is acceptable because we all have 'Rights', well lets rewind a little. Lets have a lot more consideration for the others, that we have to share the ward with.

Ward managers, contract cleaner's-managers should they not face criminal charges for premeditated murder / corporate manslaughter?

lt is understandable that some hospital patients, feel that they must provide their own clean sheets. This is not the solution to stamping out MRSA, it is easily transmitted if the underneath surface isn't cleaned.

Until people/nurses/doctors/firms/patients/ workers within hospitals, themselves are accountable for their own actions, not a lot will change. You must call for the hospital manager immediately, let them explain why the hospital is in such an appalling mess. They will soon get fed-up with keep having to answer the same question, day-in-day-out. The more you suffer in silence, the more this BAD practise will continue.

Do something different today, do NOT turn the other cheek, hoping that some-one will complain for you; DIY, Do It Yourself.
 
#4
My sister in law is the charge nurse for the intensive care ward of our local hospital... she always has some frightening things to say concerning the conduct of her co-workers. Something as simple as using a stethescope without disinfecting it with alchohol between rooms can cause an outbreak of staph...
 
#5
However, it is acceptable, for nurses/auxielleries/others within hospital employment to arrive/leave wearing their uniforms!
Not everywhere! God help anyone Modern Matron sees leaving our unit in uniform. She's been known to accost staff in Tesco and send them home to change without finishing their shopping.
 
#8
Sir_General_Jackarson said:
However, it is acceptable, for nurses/auxielleries/others within hospital employment to arrive/leave wearing their uniforms!
In a lot of places there's no where in work for the staff to change. Mrs JBM works in an NHS care home and not only is there no staff changing rooms, there's not even a staff rest room. If she wanted to go into work in civvies and change there (as she'd like to because she knows that it's not good for the patients to be wearing her uniform to and from work and it's not good for us to be bringing her potentially infected uniform home and washing it with our other washing) the only place available for her and the rest of her shift to change are some small dirty cubicles in the staff toilets - hardly a hygeinic alternative either.
 
#9
jimmys_best_mate said:
Sir_General_Jackarson said:
However, it is acceptable, for nurses/auxielleries/others within hospital employment to arrive/leave wearing their uniforms!
In a lot of places there's no where in work for the staff to change. Mrs JBM works in an NHS care home and not only is there no staff changing rooms, there's not even a staff rest room. If she wanted to go into work in civvies and change there (as she'd like to because she knows that it's not good for the patients to be wearing her uniform to and from work and it's not good for us to be bringing her potentially infected uniform home and washing it with our other washing) the only place available for her and the rest of her shift to change are some small dirty cubicles in the staff toilets - hardly a hygeinic alternative either.


Not everywhere! God help anyone Modern Matron sees leaving our unit in uniform. She's been known to accost staff in Tesco and send them home to change without finishing their shopping.
The hospital, that was previously mentioned in this thread has loads of 'NO SMOKING' signs displayed all around it. Guess what?
Take a walk and you'll find quite a few nurses (in uniform) at the back of the hospital puffing away, flicking their ash 'n' dogends on the ground (of a private housing estate) and then returning to work; without a blink of an eye. The funny thing is, even the security guard is amongst 'em............

These are two very good points, that l have quoted, both of great importance. Now, ask yourself just what is NEW LABOUR's - NO SHAME legacy come policy on health care? Do they really have one, is it abided too, and is it tied to a target chart?

Remember the 'Foot & Mouth' outbreak, everyone within the infected area had to walk on special disinfected mats; can some similar not be done in hospitals?
 
#10
I believe that the telling statistic (as far as superbugs is concerned) is

But 55 trusts (14 per cent) said that they had not met, or lacked evidence to say that they had met, the standard on reducing the risk from infections such as C. difficile, double the 7 per cent from last year.
I am not seeking to minimise the problem but it is a small minority of trusts. Further, there is a correlation between the trusts running a deficit and those who fail to meet the 29 core care objectives.

Didn't one of the hospitals that beat C Diff do so partly by binning the cleaning company and start back up with dedicated ward cleaners?
 
#11
Sven said:
Didn't one of the hospitals that beat C Diff do so partly by binning the cleaning company and start back up with dedicated ward cleaners?
Are you suggesting military hospitals (up to the 80's) had the right idea -"cleanliness is next to Godliness" with doctors and nurses who could and would do their job well without having to worry about political aims. Sounds like a good start to me.
 
#12
Bringing in cleaners as part of the ward team has benefits in many ways. Not only are they on hand if things are going wrong and so can be gripped, they are also, by being part of the team, given some incentive in what, lets face it is a pretty bad job.
 

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