Hospital boost to fight infection

NEW equipment designed to limit the spread of infection during vital patient monitoring is to be unveiled at a Suffolk hospital in one of the first initiatives of its kind in the region.

James Mortlock

NEW equipment designed to limit the spread of infection during vital patient monitoring is to be unveiled at a Suffolk hospital in one of the first initiatives of its kind in the region.

Thanks to a £24,000 investment programme, a total of 24 side rooms at West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, will be kitted out with fixed blood pressure, heart rate and oxygen saturation level monitoring machines, which will allow nurses to isolate and observe patients suffering from different kinds of infection without the risk of it spreading to others.

Staff will also use disposable cuffs alongside the machines to further increase safety. Once the patient using the machine has been discharged or transferred elsewhere, the side room and the equipment will all be deep cleaned or disposed of ready for the next patient.


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The investment, which has come from charitable funds, comes as the NHS works to raise national awareness of good hygiene during Infection Control Week, which runs until Friday.

“These new facilities will be an addition to the stringent infection control procedures which the hospital already has in place,” said Tracey Oats, matron for surgery. “We are hugely excited about the project as we believe we are the first hospital in East Anglia to introduce these extra measures.

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“Over recent years, the hospital trust has demonstrated its commitment to infection control and invested heavily in a variety of measures to help tackle the spread of infection. This includes buying new cleaning equipment, employing more cleaning staff and establishing a cohort unit where patients with Clostridium difficile can be isolated and given specialist treatment to stop it from spreading to others.

“And statistics show that these initiatives are working. Rates of Clostridium difficile and MRSA have fallen significantly in the hospital, and we are determined to make sure that trend continues.”

During Infection Control Week, staff at the trust will also be providing a range of information about simple steps that both patients and staff can take to limit the spread of infection. This will include displays in the front reception and Time Out staff canteen, where there will be general advice about hand hygiene and staying healthy, along with information about improvements the hospital has made to tackle infection.

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