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Birmingham and Solihull Mental health NHS Foundation Trust
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Infection prevention and control

Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust  is firmly committed to the prevention and control of Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI), (such as MRSA and clostridium difficile), and the use of best practice and guidance to support our services to patients.

“The term Health Care Associated Infections encompasses any infection by any infectious agent acquired as a consequence of a person’s treatment by the NHS, or which is acquired by a health care worker in the course of their duties’  The Health Act (Department of Health, 2006)

As of 1st April 2009, the Care Quality Commission (CQC) was formed to register, review, investigate and support improvements in the care provided to patients. Trusts are required to register with the CQC and must evidence their infection prevention and control procedures and policies. BSMHFT was awarded an unconditional registration by the CQC for standards of infection prevention and control. The trust also has robust structures in place to ensure that these high standards are maintained to minimise the risks of transmission of avoidable infectious conditions.

Infection prevention

All trusts are required to have a director for infection prevention and control and this position is held by the executive director of nursing who leads the infection prevention and control agenda and reports to the trust board on the delivery of the annual programme of work.

To support the executive director of nursing in their role, the trust has an infection prevention and control team comprising of nurses, a hygiene advisor, decontamination officer and a team secretary. Infection prevention and control advice is available from the team during office hours.

There is also a dedicated service provided by consultant microbiologists at the Health Protection Agency, based at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham. The duty consultant microbiologist at Heartlands Hospital is able to offer infection prevention and control advice outside of normal office hours. This means that staff have access to expert advice 24 hours a day throughout the year.

The trust infection prevention and control team work closely with colleagues who provide cleaning services and matrons to ensure standards of cleanliness are maintained as well as providing education and advice, attending service user meetings and providing written information regarding infectious conditions.

The trust delivers a wide range of services in a variety of settings including community health centres, hospitals and in the home. Therefore it is essential that we continually promote that infection prevention and control and good hygiene procedures are a crucial part of our everyday work and are everyone’s responsibility.

The trust fully endorses the World Health Organisation (WHO) 'Save Lives Clean Your Hands' global annual campaign and service users and carers are encouraged to ask staff if they have cleaned their hands. Visitors to our wards can also expect encouragement to also promote hand washing.

Please see the document below for more information on the trust’s work in infection prevention and control.

Declaration on MRSA screening