Thursday, June 05, 2008

MRSA Action UK-They Get it!

Over on our other site we highlighted a new report on anti-bacterial wipes yesterday. This morning we see that MRSA Action UK agrees with our sentiments:

MRSA Action UK: Antibacterial wipes are not the panacea for healthcare infections

Wednesday, 04 Jun 2008 08:46
MRSA Action UK’s contention has always been that to eliminate bacteria from the healthcare environment a systematic, comprehensive policy of eradication must be employed. In today’s medical arena the battle against infections is not just against MRSA and Clostridium difficile, but also against the others waiting in the wings. As a Charity that has been campaigning for safer hospitals in this country all the initiatives that have been introduced to reduce infections in our hospitals will fail, if this systematic and comprehensive approach is not taken.

Hospital cleanliness is paramount for the safety of patients in the NHS, and using antibacterial wipes as a policy to keep our hospitals clean is doomed to failure.

Antibacterial wipes can be effective against pathogens such as MRSA but only if used in the right way. They should only be used once for one surface, however there is no substitute for proper cleaning and decontamination performed by staff that are properly educated and trained in this process, using the appropriate equipment and techniques. The cleaning process should be comprehensive, and we believe monitored on its efficacy, and compliant in all ways. To be successful in this decontamination process it must be supported by regular environmental testing.

Controlling the infections in our hospitals cannot be solved by any single method, there are many ways for these pathogens to be transmitted on hands, uniforms, contaminated equipment and by the airborne route. The abject failure of this government to introduce a comprehensive system of infection prevention and control has ensured that as a nation we will stay bottom of the league with the numbers of healthcare infections in our hospitals, and until they tackle this problem head-on we will not have the safe, clean care of our neighbours in Northern Europe, where eradication of the bacteria remains a top priority.

As a Charity we have always maintained that whilst antibacterial wipes may help to prevent a patient contracting a healthcare infection, they are no guarantee, only thorough regular decontamination, and strict adherence to comprehensive infection prevention and control policies will do this.

Derek Butler
MRSA Action UK
Registered Charity No. 1115672
Telephone: 07762 741114

Eureka! They really get it.

1 comment:

Maria said...

We certainly have got it, but this is something we have said when we all came together as a group to campaign for safe standards, all of us victims of inadequate systems to manage avoidable infections that have killed and maimed. If you look at our submission to the Department of Health back in 2005 you will see that we did indeed mention the need for airborne transmission to be taken into consideration, extract:
"All NHS Bodies should have written local policies, including a
strategic estates plan, which reflect statutory requirements and national guidelines on
the provision of a safe environment. The development of these policies should take
account of infection control advice and will include but not be restricted to:
Building and refurbishment (including air handling systems)
We would wish to see clear guidelines and regulation within the Code of Practice on
the provision of:
• A clean environment;
• Safe water supplies and cooling systems;
• Operating theatres with appropriate clean air systems, including UVGI technology;
• Equipment for sterilisation and decontamination;
• Isolation facilities with effective negative pressure ventilation......."

There are some references in the legislation that followed this consultation, in the Hygiene Code, but these make no direct mention of MRSA or C.diff as being airborne. The research you have cited does however which is really useful for those of us who wish to make the case for more use of technology that's there and ready to be used, why is it though that this is being overlooked?

We have also been told that C.diff spores have been found on the tops of curtain rails, so there is substantial evidence out there that should be making our decision makers sit up and take notice - then we can all shout Eureka when they do!