North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is absolutely committed to patient safety, at the forefront of this is protecting staff and patients from acquiring an avoidable infection.

Covid-19 has shown the world what we’ve always known – the Trust’s team of infection prevention control specialists are essential to keeping the world safe.

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), established in 1986, aims to shine a light on infection prevention each and every year.

This year is a celebration of the bravery and tireless efforts of the world’s infection prevention teams and because they are battling a global pandemic and keeping the world safer, this year’s theme is We Love Our IPs.

Becky Proudfoot, Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Specialist at NCIC, said:

“One of the roles of the Infection Prevention & Control Team is to ensure that staff, patients and visitors are fully educated in what they can do to prevent the spread of infections.

“If you asked any Infection Prevention nurse they would all agree the number one thing you can do to prevent the spread of infection is wash your hands!  

“The emergence of Covid-19 has led to additional important measures such as compulsory mask wearing and 2m + social distancing."

The Trust came up with the slogan ‘Don’t Be A Covid Contact’ to encourage staff to social distance.

It also has a Be A Champion campaign urging staff to champion the right behaviours.

Becky said:

“The Be A Champion campaign urges staff to:

·         remember the importance of hand hygiene.

·         Ensure they are wearing the right Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the task (face mask at all times in the hospital setting).

·         Adhere to social distancing in the work and social setting.

“We know this can be difficult but we all must play our part in controlling the virus.’’

During International Infection Prevention Awareness, which runs from today until October 24, The Infection Prevention Team will be visiting hospital wards and other areas of the Trust to promote the importance of Infection Prevention measures.

Becky added:

“Audits are regularly performed throughout the Trust to ensure adherence to important measures such as hand hygiene, the use of PPE and monitoring cleaning standards.

“We also routinely screen patients for infections to prevent hospital outbreaks.

“Patients attending our hospitals are also provided with information and advice in relation to Infection Prevention.”

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, visiting to our inpatient units is temporarily suspended. This includes the Cumberland Infirmary, West Cumberland Hospital and all of our community hospitals.

Dr Clive Graham, the Trust’s Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said:

“Visiting remains suspended as infection rates are currently on the rise in the community.

“It is really important that people follow the guidelines to protect our patients and also our staff who we need to be well in order to care for those who need their help.

“We understand that people will be disappointed by not being able to visit loved ones in hospital and we would appeal to the public for their support and co-operation at this difficult time.

“All patients staying in our hospitals do have access to our free NHS Wi-Fi that is accessible through smart phones which they can use to keep in touch with family and friends. We also have iPads that we can lend to patients to help them stay in touch.”

 “Thank you for your support and co-operation.”