NHS Long Term Plan to reduce toll of ‘hidden killer’ sepsis

Hospital staff urged to be more alert to ‘hidden killer’ sepsis | via NHS England

Hospital staff must alert senior doctors if patients with suspected sepsis do not respond to treatment within an hour, as part of the NHS Long Term Plan to save thousands more lives. Every trust must take action to spot and treat the killer blood condition, which costs 37,000 lives a year, under guidance that is being mandated by NHS England.

The guidance, drawn up with the Royal College of Physicians, The Royal College of GPs, NICE and the UK Sepsis Trust, states that staff should look for sepsis at an early stage in patients coming to A&Es and those who are already on wards.

Medics must ask consultants for help if patients with suspected sepsis do not respond to treatment within an hour, and hospital teams should also take sufficient note of non-specific symptoms and concerns expressed by relatives and carers such as acute changes in behaviour.

Hospitals will be contractually obliged to ensure they fully comply with the guidance coming in from April.  The initiative comes as the NHS prepares to pilot new clinical standards aimed at providing swifter diagnosis and treatment for patients arriving at A&E with suspected sepsis.

Full story at NHS England

Related guidance: Sepsis guidance implementation advice for adults

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Infection control precautions

Standard infection control precautions: national hand hygiene and personal protective equipment policy | NHS Improvement

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This national policy is a practice guide for NHS healthcare staff of all disciplines in all care settings. It covers responsibilities for organisations, staff and infection prevention and control teams. It also sets out how and when to decontaminate hands.

The national policy aims to:

  • support a common understanding (making the right thing easy to do for every patient, every time)
  • reduce variation in practice and standardise care processes
  • improve how knowledge and skills are applied in infection prevention and control
  • help reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infection
  • help to align practice, education, monitoring, quality improvement and scrutiny

Full document: Standard infection control precautions: national hand hygiene and personal protective equipment policy

Improving infection control practices of nurse anesthetists

Plemmons, Molly M. et al. | Improving infection control practices of nurse anesthetists in the anesthesia workspace | American Journal of Infection Control | published online January 18th 2019

Abstract
Background
Anesthesia providers commonly cross-contaminate their workspace and subsequently put patients at risk for a health care-acquired infection. The primary objective of this project was to determine if education and implementation of standardized infection control guidelines that address evidence-based best practices would improve compliance with infection control procedures in the anesthesia workspace.

Methods
Patient care-related hand hygiene of nurse anesthetists was observed in 3 areas of anesthesia practice before and 3 weeks and 3 months after staff education, placement of visual reminders, and the implementation of infection control guidelines. After the observation periods, the percent compliance on the part of the providers was calculated for each of the 3 areas of anesthesia practice, and the results were compared using the Fisher exact test.

Results
There were a total of 95 observations performed during the 3 observation periods. When compared with preimplementation baseline data, there was a 26.2% increase in the number of providers compliant with hand hygiene practices after airway instrumentation (P = .029) and a 71.9% increase in the number of providers who separated clean from contaminated items in the workspace (P = .0001).

Conclusions
Education, visual reminders, and standardized infection control guidelines were shown to improve compliance with infection control best practices in a group of nurse anesthetists.

 

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, and Veterinary Medicines Directorate | December 2018 |Antimicrobial resistance (AMR)

The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Department of Health and Social Care, Public Health England, and Veterinary Medicines Directorate  have updated  information and resources on the government’s plans to slow the growth of antimicrobial resistance.

Full details here

NICE aims to improve flu vaccination uptake

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) and Public Health England have published new guidance on how to increase uptake of NHS flu vaccinations by identifying and encouraging those who are eligible.

 It describes ways to increase awareness and how to use all opportunities in primary and secondary care to identify people who should be encouraged to have the vaccination.

Recommendations

This guideline includes recommendations on:

Full guideline: Flu vaccination: increasing 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)

Hepatitis A infection: prevention and control guidance

Guidance to help public health professionals manage hepatitis A infections and recommendations for pre-exposure immunisation.

This guidance has been developed to aid the public health management of hepatitis A infection which aims to reduce the occurrence of secondary infections and to prevent and control outbreaks.

The guidance has been developed based on a review of the current epidemiology of hepatitis A in England and Wales and a review of the literature on the efficacy of human normal immunoglobulin (HNIG) and hepatitis A vaccine for post-exposure prophylaxis. This guidance updates the 2009 Guidance for the Prevention and Control of Hepatitis A Infection.