Infection control

Number of infections

The Department of Health’s national objectives to reduce the number of healthcare associated infections (HCAI) continues. Hospitals are required to report certain positive laboratory results to a national surveillance system.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre reports on numbers of :

  • Clostridium difficile cases
  • Blood cultures (bacteraemia) containing the following microorganisms (germs).
    • Meticillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)
    • Meticillin sensitive Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA)
    • Escherichia coli (E coli)
    • Glycopeptide resistant Enterococci (GRE)

We have successfully achieved our objectives every year and take infection prevention and control very seriously.

Last MRSA Infection:

5 Years 277 Days

Since March 2004 we have had 1 MRSA bacteraemia to report as attributable to the Trust.

Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) is a sub-group of the species of bacterium known as Staphylococcus aureus which has acquired resistance to antibiotics including meticillin and flucloxacillin. MRSA may colonise an individual asymptomatically (carrier) or can cause a range of infections from minor wound infections, boils or impetigo to severe, blood infection or pneumonia.

Last C-Diff Infection:

0 Years 252 Days

Every year hospitals are challenged to reduce the number ofClostridium difficile cases. During 2013 to 2014 we reported 2 cases as attributable to the Trust and during 2014 to 2015 just once case.

Clostridium difficile is found normally in the gut (intestines) and rarely causes problems in babies, children or healthy adults, as it is kept in check by other bacteria. Antibiotics can disturb the balance of bacteria in the gut allowing Clostridium difficile to multiply and produce toxins. The toxins can cause a range of symptoms from mild diarrhoea to severe inflammation of the bowel.

Last MSSA Infection:

1 Years 41 Days

Meticillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus is a type of bacteria (germ) which lives harmlessly on the skin and in the noses, in about one third of people. The germ can also cause disease, particularly if there is an opportunity for the bacteria to enter the body, for example through broken skin or a medical procedure. During 2013-2014 we reported 2 Meticillin-sensitive Staphylococcus aureus positive blood cultures.

What we do

The Infection Prevention and Control Team are specialist nurses and consultant microbiologists who work together with all healthcare staff to try to identify infection risks and ensure patients are cared for in a safe, clean environment. The team is also closely involved with all new developments to make sure that infection prevention and control is an integral part of everything we do.


We try to identify problems and provide solutions within the organisation by undertaking audits, advising on patient management or isolation requirements. We also manage outbreaks of infection and monitor any unusual occurrences of infection.

All staff are expected to attend the infection control mandatory lecture during Trust Induction Week.

Meet the team

At The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, there are Infection Control Links in all wards and departments.

The Infection Control Nurses are contactable on 0151 556 5726 from Monday – Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm.

Infection Control Lead Nurse

Deborah Kretzer

Infection Control Nurses

Sharon Grimshaw & Claire Smith

Last E-Coli Infection:

0 Years 240 Days

Escherichia coli is found normally in the gut (intestines) where it lives harmlessly. Some strains of E.coli have the ability to cause infections including food poisoning, eg E. coli O157, or infections outside the intestinal tract such as urinary tract infections (UTIs), and bacteraemia (bacteria in the blood). All Trusts report every instance of E. coli in blood cultures even those occurring outside hospital. Public Health England use the information submitted with the aim of contributing to a better understanding of risk factors for this infection. During 2013-2014 we reported 10 infections.

Audit Scores

High Impact audit scores

All wards and departments undertake a minimum of 10 High Impact Intervention Audits every month according to Department of Health Standards. Results demonstrate consistently high scores and overall participation in the process especially for common interventions such as intravenous access devices and urinary catheters. Ward/department managers receive a summary report and can display results in clinical areas for patients and visitors to view.

Ward Audit Process and Scores

All clinical areas, are audited using a modified version of the Infection Prevention Society audit tool which includes:

  • Hand hygiene
  • Ward environment
  • Care of equipment
  • Disinfectant and antiseptics
  • Sharps handling and disposal
  • Ward kitchens
  • Waste disposal
  • Linen handling and disposal
  • Antisepsis and hygiene
  • Clinical practices

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre also participates in Environmental Swabbing.

Cleaning

Cleaning services are monitored daily and any problems are usually resolved immediately.

All our wards are cleaned at the standard recommended. In addition to this we have hydrogen peroxide machines which effectively destroys germs such as Clostridium difficile and MRSA. The machines dispense a mist of disinfectant to give an extra level of cleanliness in areas where infective patients have been nursed.

If you have any concerns about the cleanliness of any ward or department or any item of equipment, please tell us. You can talk to the staff where you are or ask to speak to the Head of nursing. If you prefer, you can share your concerns with the Patient Advisory Liaison Service (PALS) or contact the Infection control team directly.

Hand hygiene: it’s OK to ask

Good hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infection in hospital.

The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre does everything possible to ensure that staff clean their hands before any activity that involves contact with patients, but we are all human and sometimes we forget. If you think someone should have cleaned their hands and you have not seen them do it, please ask them if their hands are clean.

We are working hard to reduce avoidable infections and to provide a clean and safe environment for patients, their relatives and our staff. All wards have to monitor hand hygiene compliance in their own area and the Infection Prevention and Control Team undertake additional spot checks.

Hand rubs are very effective at killing germs but they are not a cure for all.

Please try to wash your hands regularly using soap and water.

Clean your hands game.

What can you do for yourself & others?

The Infection Prevention and Control Team are happy to answer any queries or receive any comments from visitors, relatives or patients before, during or after a hospital visit.

  • If you see anything you are not happy about, please tell us.
  • Wash your hands or use the hand rub at the entrance to the ward at the start and end of your visit.
  • If the person you are visiting is in a single room, please check with the nursing staff before going in to see if you need take any extra precautions.
  • Please don’t visit the hospital if you are ill, particularly if you are suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting. If you have had diarrhoea or vomiting, please wait at least 72 hours before visiting – you may still be infectious.
  • Don’t handle devices such as drips unnecessarily.
  • Please don’t sit on the beds – if there aren’t enough chairs ask a member of staff to help.

The patient information leaflets give lots of advice on general infection prevention and control and more information on specific infections.