The trust’s critical care unit has made huge improvements in infection control – thanks to the joint efforts of all its staff and close observance of processes laid down by the Safer Patients’ Initiative (SPI).
The unit has seen an 80% reduction in pneumonia rates linked to ventilator use since August 2006. In addition, it has recorded no central line catheter-related bloodstream infections since September 2007.
Dr Steve Shaw, the department’s lead consultant said: “We have seen a dramatic success in cutting infection rates and this has been due to a series of initiatives, including the procedures laid down by SPI.
“But it cannot be stressed too much that without the hard work of everyone in the department – in particular the nursing team and the domestic staff, we would not have achieved these results.”
SPI lays down a number of simple practical guidelines called bundles which when properly adhered to have been shown to result in impressive improvements in patient safety.
Since last September, staff have achieved 100% compliance with the four ventilator care bundles on both intensive care units, helping to reduce the incidence of ventilator associated pneumonia. The bundles stipulate measures such as using minimum sedation and ensuring the patient is as upright in bed as possible.
Dr Shaw said: “This is simple basic care which can save lives.”