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How can infection in care homes be tackled?

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  • Article: Winfield J, Wiley C (2012) Tackling infection in care homes.Nursing Times; 108: 7, early online publication.
  • Author: Jodie Winfield is infection prevention and control nurse; Carolyn Wiley is operational nurse manager infection prevention; both at Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals Trust.

Key points

  1. Patients colonised with MRSA have an increased risk of developing serious infection
  2. MRSA screening alone may not reduce colonisation
  3. Staff ownership of infection prevention and control strategies is crucial
  4. Practitioners’ knowledge and formal training is vital in preventing the spread of HCAIs
  5. Nurses wishing to replicate this model need a clear vision, board level support, effective leadership, supportive management and funding

Let’s discuss

  • Why are care homes residents at increased risk of MRSA colonisation?
  • Why is it important to screen care home residents for MRSA colonisation?
  • How would you organise an MRSA education programme for care assistants in the residential/care home sector?
  • Can you identify particular challenges in providing education programmes in care homes and strategies you could use to overcome these?
  • What key messages would you include in your programme?
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