Every avoidable infection has a cost. The NHS spends more than £1bn a year on healthcare associated infections, particularly respiratory and gastrointestinal.
That’s why infection prevention and control was top of the agenda at a health conference taking place in Sunderland today.
Over a hundred care workers working across Wearside and South Tyneside gathered today (Wednesday, October 17) to learn more about infection prevention and control.
Care workers were invited to attend the conference to learn more about how they can prevent and control outbreaks of flu, diarrhoea and vomiting within care homes.
Delegates heard from speakers from Public Health England, NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group, NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group and South Tyneside and Sunderland Healthcare Group.
The event covered topics like; hand hygiene, hydration, management of outbreaks, preventing infections and Care Quality Commission inspections.
Ann Fox, director of nursing, quality and safety at NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group and visiting professor at the University of Sunderland, said: “The flu virus and norovirus are both common causes of outbreaks in care homes and with people sharing the same living space outbreaks could happen easily.
“Prevention, early detection and good management will not only help to limit the number of people who get sick it can also limit how sick they get.
“As care home residents can be more vulnerable to infection and have an increased risk of developing serious infections with potentially life-threatening consequences, it is imperative that care staff follow excellent outbreak prevention and control procedures.”
The event was organised by Sunderland CARE Academy, a collaboration of partners from health, social care, education and the voluntary sector.
Partners include; City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, University of Sunderland, South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust, Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the Patient and Carer Involvement (PCPI) members.