Driving improvement in environmental hygiene

Investment in infection prevention training and development for all staff groups is vital to drive improvement in environmental hygiene, says Yvonne Spencer. However, training is just one strand of a holistic IPC strategy – creating the right cleaning culture in the healthcare setting is just as important.

Infection prevention solutions help to prevent the spread of infections in hospitals, surgical sites, nursing homes and healthcare settings. These outbreaks can pose a serious threat to the health and safety of your patients and staff. Approximately 834,000 patients will acquire a preventable infection in an NHS Hospital in England. This leads to around 28,500 deaths annually, while 21% of all bed days per year are occupied by patients with healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).

Ensuring strict procedures for equipment cleaning, carrying out specialist disinfection with the right chemicals and deploying technology in the right places is key to control outbreaks. Cleaning teams, in partnership with clinical colleagues, are the cornerstone of infection prevention practices, breaking the chain of infection through cleaning practices underpinned by training pathways that enhance their knowledge and provide opportunities for further reading.

Infection prevention and control has been a high priority in England for the last 20 years. During this time, since mandatory surveillance was introduced, there has been a reduction in Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infections and cases of Clostridioides difficile (C.diff ) infection.

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