Hospitals avoid infection rap

PUBLISHED: 11:06 09 April 2009 | UPDATED: 16:30 25 August 2010

THREE hospital trusts in the area which have now merged have all come up clean in a watchdog's report on infection control.

THREE hospital trusts in the area which have now merged have all come up clean in a watchdog's report on infection control.

The three former hospital trusts in Bromley, Bexley and Woolwich which now form the South London Healthcare NHS Trust (SLHT) all escaped having conditions imposed on them in the report published by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Last Friday the new health watchdog identified 21 trusts out of 388 which were not doing enough in areas such as cleanliness and decontamination.

The government's target to halve MRSA infections was met last year and latest figures show that Clostridium difficile rates are also falling.

The watchdog which replaces the Healthcare Commission was formed last Wednesday and regulates health and adult social care services, provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies or voluntary organisations.

SLHT Transitional Director of Nursing and Patient Experience Jennie Hall said: "Our registration without conditions demonstrates our commitment to patient safety and quality care.

"Staff across all three hospitals within the new Trust will work together to continue driving down the rates of hospital infections."

Chair of the CQC Barbara Young, said: "Most trusts have stronger systems to protect patients from infection than a few years ago, and trusts' boards are taking the challenges seriously. We commend them for that.

"Registration of NHS trusts based on healthcare-associated infection marks the first step in a new system to drive further improvement and ensure patients' safety.

"This was an opportunity for trusts to let patients and the public know that they are taking effective action to tackle these infections.

"All trusts must remain vigilant and constantly review and strengthen their performance. This is a continued drive and we want to see standards raised further.

"In 21 trusts we need further assurance that they are meeting the regulations. We have placed rigorous conditions on these trusts' registration and will monitor them closely.

"We will monitor their performance throughout the year and will not hesitate to use our enforcement powers to protect patients' safety where needed.

"This is only the beginning of our work with NHS trusts. We aim to ensure they strive for continued improvement and that patients receive the same consistently high service wherever they receive care."

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