DAMNING evidence of the pressure infection control nurses are under comes this week in reports from the Wales Audit Office and the Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (p5). Some nurses were responsible for almost 500 beds each – the average was 332 – while US research suggests this should be 250 at most. Both reports said specialist staff were doing their own administration.
If we employ and develop infection control specialists, we have to ensure they can do their jobs properly. That means not assuming that they can be responsible for hundreds of occupied beds. And we must provide them with support – not just administration but support from the ward team and managers. Only then can we expect them to really reduce the rates of HCAIs in our hospitals.