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Patient Safety Congress: Trusts told to monitor nurses on infection control

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Staff compliance with infection control policies is the key to zero tolerance on healthcare-associated infections, delegates at the Patient Safety Congress in London heard today.
Janice Stevens, director of the Department of Health’s MRSA/Cleaner Hospitals Programme, said all trusts needed to fully audit staff compliance and those that were not adhering to policies should be penalised.

‘There have to be consequences for non-compliance,’ she said. ‘People don’t always follow policies and procedures and there are issues around harm caused to patients by staff not doing things right.

‘Compliance gives assurance that what you think is happening is actually happening and trusts need to track this information and use it wisely,’ she added. ‘There is accountability at every level and staff need to understand what is expected of them and what the objectives are.’

She added that trusts could not assume a level of competency and that systems must be in place to continually assess staff. ‘You have to have systems in place to assess staff competencies – if you cannot measure, you cannot move on,’ she said.
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Readers' comments (1)

  • I hope by "staff" she doesn't just mean nurses! We are blamed for everything but from our infection control audits on the ward the number one culprits for poor hand hygiene are phlebotomists, followed by doctors, then physios and other health care staff. We nurses are constantly getting infection control rammed down our throats and we are sick of it, it's time to pick on the real infection spreaders. I d also like to mentions patients with MRSA wandering about and sitting on other patients beds and visitors who blatantly ignore infection control signs as well as nurses advise on handwashing. They are also partly to blame and need educating

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