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Infection Prevention and Control

The following information will explain how the Infection Prevention and Control team are helping support staff at North East Essex Community Service to prevent health care associated infections. We take infection prevention and control very seriously.

Our vision is that no person is harmed by a preventable infection (Infection Prevention Society).

Alongside Government initiatives, we aim to reduce health care associated infections. The promotion of the World Health Organisations (WHO) 'Five moments of hand hygiene' are encouraged across the organisation. Our staff are taught infection prevention and control within their trust induction and are required to complete mandatory eLearning updates.

Help us by not visiting if you are unwell with coughs and colds and in particular diarrhoea and vomiting.

Collaborative Working

We work with the local acute trust East Suffolk North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

We continue to work with a collaborative approach to Infection Prevention and Control. Shared learning across the organisations benefits staff and patient outcomes.

Visiting Our Wards

If you or your family are unwell especially with diarrhoea and/or vomiting, please refrain from visiting our wards. This will help protect our patients and staff from transmissible infections.

If in doubt, please feel free to contact the ward and speak to a Ward Manager.

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is essential in the prevention of spread of infections. Hand washing with soap and water and the use of alcohol gel is the most effective way of preventing health care associated infections.

All staff have been trained in hand hygiene. We expect all staff to wash or gel their hands before and after having contact with you or your relative. We promote the World Health Organisation (WHO) 'Five moments of hand hygiene'.

Every month, we carry out audit compliance with our hand hygiene protocol using 'Saving Lives' high impact intervention audit tool.

This is a requirement of The Health and Social Care Act 2008: Code of Practice on the prevention, control of infections and related guidance (published 14 Dec 2010), which states that registered providers must audit compliance to key policies and procedures for infection prevention.

If you are not sure if a staff member have cleaned their hands, it is OK for you to ask.

MRSA (Methicillin resistant staphylococcus aureus)

A test is done by taking a swab from the nose and groin to see if you carry resistant germs to antibiotics. This is done on admission or on transfer from another healthcare setting.

You will be nursed in a single side room if your results are positive.

Treatment will be prescribed using antimicrobial wash and possibly ointment for your nose, further swabbing will take place.



If you have an infection we may need to nurse you in isolation in a single room. The aim of isolation is to prevent the transfer of infection from infected patients to other patients, staff and visitors.

Infections can be spread by:

  • Direct contact with another person, usually by the hands.
  • Indirectly from one person to another via contaminated equipment or the environment.
  • Airborne from someone coughing or sneezing.

We will explain to you if we need to nurse you in isolation and why this is required.

Help us by ensuring that everyone cleans their hands before and after leaving the room with soap and water.

We will make sure that the door of the room is kept closed.

Visitors will need to check with Nurse in charge prior to entering your room.


Cleanliness of the environment is very important to us. We ensure that our wards, departments and clinics are clean and tidy. Our clinical environments are regularly audited using the National patient safety agency standards.

Help us by telling the Nurse in charge if you think an area or a piece of equipment is not clean enough.


There are a number of things you can do as an individual to reduce your risk of infection:

  • Wash your hands before preparing meals.
  • Wash your hands before eating.
  • Wash your hands after you have been to the toilet.
  • Wash your hands if requested by ward staff.
  • Refrain from sitting on patients beds.
  • Observing isolation information on our wards.
  • Wash your hands when leaving our wards.

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)

Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) occurs when some of the microorganisms (bacteria, virus and fungus) resist the advances of the antibiotics given to treat them. Antimicrobials cover antibiotics, antivirals, anti-fungal, and the largest being antibiotics.

Antimicrobial resistance is a national and global threat to health as no new antibiotics have been developed in the past 30 years and increasing bacterial resistance to those antibiotics means infections are becoming harder to treat.

Antibiotics only work on bacteria. You should not be given antibiotics if you have a virus. We need to look after our antibiotics and have stewardship for them.

ACE are committed to reducing the number of inappropriate prescriptions of antibiotics. We monitor our use of antibiotics using Saving Lives audit tool. All our medical and non-medical prescribers are encouraged to participate in the 'TARGET' eLearning course on antibiotics.


What is Sepsis?

Sepsis (also known as blood poisoning) is the immune system’s overreaction to an infection or injury. Normally our immune system fights infection – but sometimes, for reasons we do not yet understand, it attacks our body’s own organs and tissues. If not treated immediately, Sepsis can result in organ failure and death. Yet with early diagnosis, it can be treated with antibiotics

How to spot Sepsis in adults

Seek medical help urgently if you (or another adult) develop any of these signs:

  • Slurred speech or confusion
  • Extreme shivering or muscle pain
  • Passing no urine (in a day)
  • Severe breathlessness
  • It feels like you’re going to die
  • Skin mottled or discoloured

How to spot sepsis in children

If your child is unwell with either a fever or very low temperature (or has had a fever in the last 24 hours), call 999 and just ask: could it be Sepsis?

A child may have Sepsis if he or she:

  • Is breathing very fast
  • Has a ‘fit’ or convulsion
  • Looks mottled, bluish, or pale
  • Has a rash that does not fade when you press it
  • Is very lethargic or difficult to wake
  • Feels abnormally cold to touch

A child under 5 may have Sepsis if he or she:

  • Is not feeding
  • Is vomiting repeatedly
  • Has not passed urine for 12 hours

Contact Details

Consultant Microbiologist via switch board: 01206 747474

Lead Nurse for Infection Prevention and Control via switchboard: 01206 747474

Infection Prevention Nurse Specialist: 07786 334419

Public Health England East of England: 0345 155 0069

Lead Infection Prevention and Control Nurse for Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG): 01206 918 700

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