Nursing staff at a hospital trust in Yorkshire are celebrating 600 days without a single case of the superbug MRSA.
As of this week all three of Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust’s sites have seen almost two years pass without a hospital-acquired case of meticillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus blood stream infection, or MRSA as it’s more commonly known.
“We are not complacent and are continually looking to see what we can do further”
The trust has pinned its success down to its “zero tolerance” approach to healthcare associated infections.
Lead nurse for infection prevention and control at the trust, Carol Scholey, said: “Almost two years without a single case of hospital-acquired MRSA bacteraemia is an outstanding achievement and great news for our patients and visitors.
“However, we are not complacent and are continually looking to see what we can do further as we head towards two years without a case of MRSA,” she added.
As part of stringent hygiene and infection control polices, the trust regularly reviews the use of any devices and treatment tools which can lead to an increased chance of developing MRSA.
In addition, the infection prevention and control team work to encourage its staff to be vigilant, look out for symptoms of the bugs and act upon any potential signs that could lead to further infection.
“Ensuring our patients are safe while they are in our care is a top priority”
Dr Ken Agwuh
The team has been working collaboratively with clinicians across the hospital sites to screen all patients for the bacteria.
The trust’s practice is to isolate those with a positive result and immediately begin what is known as “decolonisation”, which stops the bacteria before it can infect patients and cause harm.
Director of infection prevention and control at the trust, Dr Ken Agwuh, said: “Ensuring our patients are safe while they are in our care is a top priority, and improving our infection control measures, in every regard, is a crucial step in this process.
“Our infection prevention and control team have been very proactive and, alongside colleagues at the trust, have shown a real commitment to ensuring our patients receive the highest quality of care, within a safe environment,” he added.
MRSA is known for being resistant to several widely-used antibiotics, which makes it much harder to treat than most bacterial infections.
Doncaster and Bassetlaw staff celebrate being MRSA free