A London hospital trust has introduced a “patient passport” to help reduce urinary infections and join up care in hospital and community settings.
The idea is being rolled out across services at London North West Healthcare NHS Trust with the ultimate aim of reducing infections and prolonged catheter use.
The trust, one of the largest integrated NHS organisations in the country, was created in October 2014, merging hospital and community services across Brent, Ealing and Harrow.
“This collaborative approach across both our hospital and community services will enable staff to work together”
It said its infection control team used the merger as an opportunity to work collaboratively across the organisation’s new network of services to launch the passport.
The passport will be carried by all patients with catheters to ensure that healthcare professionals have access to relevant information about their condition, regardless of where they are seen.
It also provides practical advice to patients about how to look after their catheter and what to do if it is not working properly.
Dianne James, senior infection prevention control nurse, said: “This new passport will be given to every patient who leaves hospital with a catheter. It will detail why the patient required it and when it is due for review.
“The passport will travel with the patient, so healthcare professionals – in both the hospital and community – can see when the catheter is due to be changed and if the patient’s condition has improved, meaning that they no longer require one,” she said.
Trust chief nurse Carole Flowers added: “The new urinary catheter passport is a great example of how our recent merger can improve patient care across Brent, Ealing and Harrow.
“This collaborative approach across both our hospital and community services will enable staff to work together and provide all health workers with a complete view of a patient’s care, both at home and in hospital,” she said.
Figures from the Health Protection Agency show that 17.2% of all healthcare associated infections are caused by catheters and nationally there is a drive to reduce this figure.