Care home workers become infection control ambassadors – thanks to NHS trust’s support

Care homes across the Tees Valley have teams of infection control ambassadors – thanks to the work of an NHS community nursing team.

Care home workers stood in gardenThe infection, prevention and control service at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust have been training staff in homes across the area to become infection control champions.

Champions are role models for knowledge and best practice – helping influence colleagues around personal responsibility, integrity, innovation and trust.

Gill Roberts, community infection control nurse, recently visited Clifton House Residential Care Home in Hartlepool to carry out some training, which follows Public Health England guidelines.

Gill said: “The management and the staff at Clifton House have been outstanding in the way they have engaged with the training.

“They are 100 per cent compliant with their infection control measures – they are all invested in the importance it makes to them and the residents in their care.

“The staff understand not only the ongoing risk of COVID-19 and the importance to remain vigilant with this, but also the dangers of other infections that exist.

“By following some simple advice – including using PPE and distancing when appropriate, good hand hygiene, environmental cleanliness and waste management – the team can ensure bugs do not impact on anyone.

“Champions can be from any role – they can be a healthcare worker, a housekeeper, a nurse, administration staff or a volunteer.

“They help ensure staff know what to do and understand the importance of these measures.”

Care home workers attending trainingVarious bugs can be an outbreak risk in a care home including Clostridium difficile, MRSA, Norovirus, flu and TB.

The training involves being familiar with local policies and practice guidelines, being able to assess others in carrying out safe practice and how to carry out an audit, knowing correct hand hygiene and being able to working effectively and sensitively with staff in understanding risks.

Lisa Judson, manager at Clifton House, said: “Gill has made a huge difference to the care home.

“She has provided invaluable advice and support to the team and ensured we are fully compliant in infection control.

“It has been a challenge – but we have a fantastic team here and we have all ensured we understand this for the benefit of ourselves and our residents.”

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