Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust today (Friday) welcomed an inspection report that concluded it had the “necessary systems in place” to protect people from infection.
The findings were published by the Healthcare Commission, which sent a team to North Devon District Hospital last August as part of a programme of spot-checks at 120 trusts around the country. The aim was to check compliance with elements the Government’s national ‘hygiene code’.
The report emphasises that “the visits were unannounced, to allow assessment managers to see the hospital as a patient or visitor would see it”.
It concludes: “On the day of the visit, our assessment managers considered Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust had the necessary systems in place to help protect patients, the public, and staff from HCAIs (healthcare-acquired infections). The Trust has demonstrated it is aware of its collective responsibility for the prevention and control of HCAIs.
“The DIPC (Director of Infection Prevention and Control) and a skilled Infection Control Team support the board in carrying out this responsibility. The board has made a clear commitment to ensure adequate resources are in place.”
The report also flags up areas “to further improve and strengthen the systems in place”.
The Trust has already taken many of the steps set out by the Healthcare Commission and has a clear plan for meeting all recommendations by the end of March 2008.
Measures under way include:
- A Clean Your Hands campaign to help patients and visitors feel that it’s “Okay to ask” members of staff if they’ve have washed their hands
- More information for patients. Guidance on handwashing is now displayed in wards and clinical departments. A new Coming into Hospital leaflet, with guidance on cleanliness and preventing infection, is also in production and already available on the Trust website here
Mike Roberts, the Trust’s Medical Director, said: “It’s good to be reassured by the Healthcare Commission that we’ve got the systems in place to minimise risks to patients and visitors.
“We’ve already done many of the other things that the report suggests and have detailed plans in place to deliver the rest.
“Beating infection is a huge challenge, and not one we can meet on our own. So we’d ask all patients and visitors to please make sure you wash your hands – and don’t be afraid to ask if staff have washed theirs.”
The Healthcare Commission report is available at: