Award winning infection reduction
A programme involving Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust aimed at driving improvements for patients having hip and knee replacements has won a top national award. And YKC’s Dave Duffy is the lead clinician for Harrogate.
You know about MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus). It’s the headline-grabbing superbug that’s front page news every winter, and which can create infections that are difficult to treat because the bacteria are resistant to certain forms of antibiotic.
But did you know about MSSA? Methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus is a ‘lesser’ MRSA. As its name suggests it isn’t resistant to antibiotics, but it is the infection that most affects joint replacements.
Reducing MSSA infection rates has been the goal of QIST (Quality Improvement for Surgical Teams), an initiative led by Northumbria hospitals, and in which Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust has played a major role. As lead clinician for the project at Harrogate, I’m delighted that it has been named ‘Infection Prevention and Control Initiative of the Year’ at the 2019 HSJ Patient Safety Awards.
A major collaboration
Ours is one of 30 organisations involved in QIST, which has scaled up interventions such as screening and the use of bodywash and nasal gel treatments for patients carrying the bug, to reduce infections. Across the country, more than 16,000 patients have received this form of patient safety intervention. The programme has not yet finished so we don’t have full results, but we know that interventions like these can reduce the risk of infection from MSSA by 60 per cent in some cases.
Clinical Director for Trauma and Orthopaedics at Northumbria Healthcare and Chief Investigator for the QIST: Infection collaborative, Professor Mike Reed, said: “I am delighted that this project involving 30 organisations across the country has been recognised on the national stage – this would not have been possible without the hard work of everyone involved across the country.
“The overall ambition of this collaborative is to prove the case that we can successfully introduce these interventions and improve care for patients having joint replacement surgery so that they become routine clinical practice across the NHS.
“By working collaboratively and sharing best practice, I strongly believe we can make a real impact to patients across the NHS.”
It’s important to stress that infection following knee replacement is rare. A deep infection occurs in about 1% of cases and treating it may involve antibiotics and further operations. In the worst cases, infections can be devastating and life changing for any patient and their loved ones. That’s why it’s so important to reduce the incidence of infection, and by joining forces and working collaboratively we’re aiming to make a difference to patients here and elsewhere.