Keeping patients safe from hospital-acquired infection
In light of the incidences of patient deaths in hospital in June caused by an outbreak of listeria in prepacked sandwiches and salads it is important to examine how hospital-acquired infection is prevented and how the Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspections help hospitals to remain safe.
One of the specific domains examined by CQC inspectors is safety. The safety domain encompasses many components and key lines of enquiry, but several of them pertain to cleanliness, infection control and hygiene, which CQC inspectors scrutinise as part of the inspection process. Specifically, they talk with nurses to ascertain their understanding of how infection control is managed at ward and pan-hospital level. They look for evidence that nurses know who the infection prevention and control (IPC) lead is in their trust and that individual wards and units have appointed link nurses for IPC. Furthermore, they will seek evidence that the trust holds regular IPC meetings, and how the lessons learnt from infection incidents are cascaded.
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