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Nurses launch hygiene blueprint to prevent MRSA and C diff infections in hospitals

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Nurses have called for 24-hour cleaning services in order to prevent the spread of healthcare associated infections such as MRSA and C diff in hospitals.

The RCN and the Infection Prevention Society have set out their revised document, 10 Minimum Standards for Infection Prevention and Control.

An audience of MPs will receive the document in Parliament this afternoon to provide a blueprint for how hospitals, nurses and healthcare staff can prevent MRSA, C diff and other healthcare associated infections (HCAIs).

By the end of March, all NHS hospitals in England must screen all elective patient admissions fpr MRSA. A staff screening scheme has been piloted in Scotland over the past year.

RCN general secretary Peter Carter said: ‘It’s been clear for some time that hand hygiene is key to preventing the spread of infection yet still our members tell us that there are areas of healthcare which do not provide effective and accessible hand decontaminants.

‘At the same time, nurses need to have access to fully trained 24-hour cleaning support services so that the risk of HCAIs can be managed around-the-clock.’

The 10 minimum standards for infection prevention and control are:

1. All nurses should have access to acceptable, effective and well tolerated hand decontaminants at the point of care/treatment to ensure optimal hand hygiene.

2. Nurses should have access to appropriately trained and resources 24-hour cleaning services in all acute health care facilities.

3. The development of an environmental cleanliness toolkit that enables nurses to report on cleanliness where they work.


4. Putting systems in place so that nurses have direct access to the resources required to maintain the safety standards of the environment before it becomes a risk.

5. The provision of dedicated decontamination facilities for acute and community healthcare environments so that all equipment is decontaminated thoroughly and safely between patients.

6. A minimum standard of training for mandatory infection prevention and control training for all staff when they commence their employment.

7. Access to annual and ongoing infection control training updates for nurses must be supported with protected study time.

8. An infection prevention and control education module should be developed across the UK and become compulsory for all professional undergraduate and vocational healthcare programmes.

9. A system should be established so that all nurses including bank and agency staff can demonstrate their competence in infection prevention and control.

10. The provision of Practice Facilitator Educators across the UK so that Pre-registration and newly-qualified nurses have support when on clinical placements.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • While the initiatives are commendable , possibly the practice of transferring patients across sites, ward movement and staff movement should be studied in more detail as a source of infection

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