NNUH celebrates two years MRSA free
On Wednesday 12th March 2014, the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) is celebrating two years of being completely clear of MRSA blood stream infections (bacteraemias).
At NNUH, every patient who is admitted is swabbed for MRSA resulting in approximately 10,000 samples processed by the microbiology team every month. In addition to this, extra processes are in place to monitor and care for patients who are assessed as being at higher risk of carrying MRSA.
Dr Ngozi Elumogo, Director of Infection Prevention and Control at NNUH, said: “It is important that every member of staff sees infection prevention and control as part of their work and integral to everything they do. We are constantly improving our infection prevention and control processes and we will soon be adding real time scientific environmental tests to ensure our hospital is as clean and safe as possible for patients.
This spring, in partnership with Serco, Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) testing will be piloted to objectively monitor the cleanliness of the environment and equipment on hospital wards. ATP testing involves taking swabs from surfaces which have been cleaned and testing them in real time to ensure the environment has been cleaned to the highest standard ensuring no germs are left behind that may not be visible to the naked eye.
Anna Dugdale, Chief Executive of NNUH, said: “To have gone two years MRSA free is a fantastic achievement and the result of a huge team effort and relentless attention to detail. This work has been spearheaded by our Infection Prevention and Control team, led by Dr Ngozi Elumogo with support from every member of staff. Every member of the NNUH team, cleaners, porters, laboratory staff, doctors, nurses, administrative staff and our volunteers are involved in our fight against infection. This is a huge achievement and one we are very proud of.
Nayab Haider, Contracts Director for Serco at NNUH, said: Our porters, cleaners and catering staff all have an important role to play in helping to ensure the hospital is clean and safe for patients. We look forward to working with the infection prevention and control team when we introduce the ATP testing over the coming months.
What is MRSA?
MRSA is a type of bacterial infection that is resistant to a number of widely used antibiotics. This means it can be more difficult to treat than other bacterial infections.
MRSA stands for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus. Staphylococcus organisms often live on people's skin. It is often carried on the skin and inside the nostrils and throat, and can cause mild infections of the skin. MRSA is a close relation of this bacteria and is resistant to some antibiotics. Most people will be unaware they carry it but they can easily pass it on. That is why we ask everyone visiting our hospitals to wash their hands thoroughly and to use the alcohol gels we provide.
MRSA will generally only become a serious problem when it occupies open wounds, particularly in those patients whose immune systems are already under strain either through disease, or general debilitation.