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Welcome to the Infection Control online newsfeed. Here you’ll find all the latest research, news stories, policy updates and guidelines. View our other newsfeeds for more subject-specific news.

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Vaccine update: October 2017

This vaccine update provides immunisation practitioners with the latest developments in vaccines, vaccination policies and procedures.

The vaccine update October edition 271 features:

  • influenza vaccination and patients on therapy for HIV infection (highly active anti-retroviral therapy – HAART)
  • survey for GPs about diagnosis and management of blood-borne viruses (BBV) among migrants
  • call for GP or school practice improvement
  • vaccine coverage for pertussis vaccination programme for pregnant women: update to June 2017
  • latest infant Meningitis B and school leaver MenACWY vaccine coverage estimates published
  • latest UK vaccine coverage figures for children aged up to 5 published
  • interpretation of vaccine storage requirements
  • The Vaccination of individuals with uncertain or incomplete vaccination status has been updated
  • flu vaccine information and availability for the children’s national flu vaccination programme 2017 to 2018
  • eligibility of children for flu vaccines
  • giving a second dose of LAIV
  • influenza Vaccines for the 2017 to 2018 influenza season
  • Hexavalent vaccine (Infanrix hexa®)
  • ordering for Infanrix hexa® (DTaP/IPV/Hib/HepB) is open on ImmForm
  • change to InterVax BCG vaccine ordering restrictions
  • to be aware of vaccine pack changes
  • change to Rotarix presentation
  • shortage of pneumococcal polysaccharide 23-valent vaccine (PPV23)
  • vaccine supply for non-routine programmes
  • historical vaccine development and introduction of routine vaccine programmes in the UK

Full update available at Public Health England

Antibiotic awareness resources

Public Health England have published a series of antibiotic awareness resources to support the Antibiotic Guardian campaign and local initiatives.

Antibiotic awareness: toolkit for healthcare professionals in England
Guidance to help the NHS, local authorities and others support European Antibiotic Awareness Day and the Antibiotic Guardian campaign, to encourage responsible use of antibiotics.

Antibiotic awareness: quizzes and crosswords
Quizzes and crosswords about antibiotic resistance for the public, healthcare prescribers and pharmacists.

Antibiotics: secondary care prescriber’s checklist
Prescribers in secondary healthcare can use this checklist to help make decisions about prescribing antibiotics.

Antibiotic awareness: posters and leaflets
Posters and leaflets (in 11 languages) for the public and healthcare professionals to support antibiotic awareness campaigns in the UK.

PHE have also produced a short video to help explain the issue of antibiotic resistance:

NHS staff who refuse flu vaccine this winter will have to give reasons

NHS staff who refuse to have the flu vaccine this winter will have to give reasons to their employer, as leaders make efforts to improve take-up rates|  BMJ 2017359 

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Image source: Daniel Dionne – Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

 NHS leaders are to write to all NHS staff urging them to be vaccinated against flu as soon as possible. The letter will make it clear that staff who refuse the vaccine will have to give reasons to their employing NHS trust, which will then be recorded.

The heads of NHS England, Public Health England, the Department of Health for England, and NHS Improvement said that they were writing to remind staff of their “professional duty to protect their patients.” Trusts are also being urged to make the flu vaccine “readily available” to staff.

Although last year saw record take-up of the vaccine among staff, more than a third of NHS staff members did not take up the offer, with just a fifth being vaccinated in some trusts.

Hospitals and GP surgeries are being warned by NHS England to be prepared for a big increase in cases of flu this winter after a heavy season in the southern hemisphere.

Full story via BMJ 2017359 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4766

Cervical screening

This issue of Health Matters focuses on making cervical screening more accessible.

This latest edition of Health Matters aims to address the decline in cervical screening attendance by presenting recommendations that can help increase access to screening and awareness of cervical cancer.

Despite the success of the programme, screening coverage has fallen over the last 10 years and attendance is now at a 19-year low. Coverage is going down across all age groups.

pack of infographics  is available in support of this campaign

cerv

Image source: http://www.gov.uk

Related case studies:

Improving cervical screening in Trafford: One Minute campaign

GP surgery initiatives boost cervical screening uptake

Group B streptococcal disease guideline

Group B Streptococcal Disease, Early-onset (Green-top Guideline No 36) | The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. 

Group B Streptococcal Disease (GBS) is recognised as the most frequent cause of severe early-onset infection in newborn infants. GBS is present in the bowel flora of 20–40% of adults (colonisation) and those who are colonised are called ‘carriers’. This includes pregnant women. There is variation in practice across the UK regarding the best strategies to prevent EOGBS disease.

In 2015, the incidence of EOGBS in the UK and Ireland was 0.57/1000 births (517 cases), a significant increase from the previous surveillance undertaken in 2000 where an incidence of 0.48/1000 was recorded.

The purpose of this guideline is to provide guidance for obstetricians, midwives and neonatologists on the prevention of early-onset (less than 7 days of age) neonatal group B streptococcal (EOGBS) disease and the information to be provided to women, their partners and families.

Group B Streptococcal Disease, Early-onset (Green-top Guideline No 36)

Assessing the burden of Clostridium difficile infections for hospitals

Nosocomial infections place a heavy burden on the healthcare system. However, quantifying the burden raises many questions, ranging from the way to accurately estimate the extra length of stay at hospital to defining and costing the preventative methods among the different care providers | Journal of Hospital Infection

B0008374 Clostridium difficile colony

Image source: David Goulding, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute – Wellcome Images // CC BY 4.0

A total of 52 episodes were screened during the study period. The estimated mean cost of CDI was approximately €23,909 (SD = 17,458) for an extended length of hospital stay (N = 27). In the case of a reduced length of the hospital stay (N = 25), the mean cost was approximately € –14,697 (SD = 16,936), which represents net savings for the hospitals. The main cost/savings driver was the productivity losses/gains resulting from the nosocomial infection. A sensitivity analysis showed that the main factor explaining the amount of costs or savings due to nosocomial infections was the length of the hospital stay.

Conclusion: We discuss the notion of productivity gains in the case of deaths as a factor revealing the incompleteness of the payment systems. We then discuss the methodological issues associated with the statistical method used to control for temporality bias.

Full reference: Hebbinckuys, E. et al. (2017) Assessing the burden of Clostridium difficile infections for hospitals. Journal of Hospital Infection. Published online: September 07, 2017