An infection control team from the West Midlands has won £5,000 for its success and innovative approach to tackling MRSA and Clostridium difficile.
The group from Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust in Birmingham has won first prize in the 2008-2009 Oxoid Infection Control Team of the Year Awards, which recognises sustained commitment to reducing health care associated infections.
The trust, one of the largest in England, achieved a 52% reduction in MRSA bacteraemia and 27% in Clostridium difficile infections in 2008.
These figures were combined with innovations, such as the provision of training in aseptic technique combined with blood culture packs designed to reduce contaminated cultures, that impressed the judges.
Award judges Dr Tim Boswell, consultant medical microbiologist at Nottingham University Hospital NHS Trust and representative of the Hospital Infection Society, said: ‘This is a simple but clever idea that can easily be emulated in other hospitals.’
Another innovation involves hospital pharmacists issuing notices to clinical staff about non-compliance, which has brought improvements to antibiotic prescribing procedures.
St Georges Healthcare NHS Trust in London came second in the awards, and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust came third.