Infection Control Statement

Infection Control Annual Statement 2021

Aim

The Practice takes infection control very seriously. The aim is to manage infection control to a high standard in our both our surgeries (Goring and Woodcote) to create a clean and safe environment for both our staff and our patients.

Purpose

The Practice will generate an annual infection control statement and will summarise:

  • Details of any infection transmission incidents and action taken;
  • Details of any infection control risk assessments undertaken;
  • Staff training;
  • Review and update of policies / procedures / guidelines which may be required.

Background

Our infection control lead is Practice Nurse Sally Barter, supported by our Lead Practice Nurse, Jenny O’Connor and our Practice Manager, Julia Beasley.

Training

Our staff (clinical and support) receive, on an annual basis, a comprehensive training handout detailing all aspects of infection control and stressing its importance within the General Practice setting. 

Clinical staff attend an annual infection control update held in-house and run by Sally Barter, our Infection Control Lead Nurse (this has been put on hold during the COVID pandemic and online training used instead to keep our staff safe, but it is hoped that this will resume soon). All staff carry out annual infection control online training modules via Blue Stream Training.

Infection control forms an integral part of our daily activities at the Practice. Hand sanitising gels are freely available throughout the Practice and hand washing advice notices are displayed over each sink.

Significant Events

There have been no significant events involving infection control at the Practice over the past twelve months.

Audit

The Practice carries out regular infection control audits and any action is promptly taken, as appropriate.  Monthly decontamination and environmental cleanliness audits are carried out together with annual infection control audits at both of our surgeries.  The results of these determine the action plan for the year ahead.

Developing Infection Control at the Practice

Child friendly hand wash units are installed in the surgery toilets.

Our carpets are being replaced with cushion type flooring (completed at Woodcote surgery and in process at our Goring surgery). 

Disposal couch curtains are installed in each consulting and treatment room and these are changed every six months to minimise the risk of infection spreading.

Examination couches are protected with disposal paper couch roll which is changed after each patient.

Couch pillows have wipe clean covers and are also covered with a sheet of disposal paper couch roll during each patient examination.

The Practice uses disposal instruments and has a cleaning plan in place for items of equipment such as ECG machines.

Clinell universal sanitising wipes are available throughout the Practice and staff instructed to use these at appropriate times to limit the spread of infection. We also have specific wipes now available to help us stop the spread of infections such as the norovirus.

Infection control updates for the support staff are issued on an a regular  basis. We also hold annual training and checks on hand washing techniques using a machine specifically purchased for this purpose. Effective hand washing is the single most important way to help prevent the spread of infection.

The treatment rooms at our Practice are modern and up to date. They are cleaned each day to help maintain high infection control standards.

COVID Pandemic

Infection control has become even more important for the Practice during the recent COVID pandemic.  Staff wear masks each day whilst they are at work and ensure that they hand wash and use hand gel on a regular basis throughout the day. Clinical staff also wear PPE when seeing patients and thoroughly clean treatment and consulting rooms once a patient has been seen and left the Practice.  We also ask that staff do not come to work if they are unwell and have a normal COVID test before returning.

Infection control, and its importance within General Practice, is kept high on the agenda for our team by inclusion in regular team meetings and by the issue of newsletter type updates.

To help us minimise the risk of infection spreading, we would ask patients who are visiting the Practice to :

  • continue to wait outside on arrival at the surgery for their appointment, rather than in the waiting room, to reduce the risk of infection within the premises.  All consultations with GPs are initially tele-consult, then face to face if clinically appropriate;
  • use the hand sanitising gel on arrival and departure;
  • wash their hands after using the toilet at the Practice (posters demonstrating the correct hand washing technique are positioned above each sink);
  • let us know if they see anything at the Practice that they believe poses an infection control risk.

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August 2021