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Liverpool Hospital becomes first International Centre of Excellence in the Fight against Infection

16th February 2012
The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust is proud to announce that it has been awarded the status of the world’s first International Centre of Excellence in infection prevention from Advanced Sterilization Products (ASP), a member of the Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies, a leading developer of innovative instrument sterilisation, high-level disinfection, and area decontamination technologies.

Following a reduction of over 80% in Clostridium difficle infections alone in the period 1st April 2008 – 31st March 2011, saving in excess of £2.3 million, hospital leaders from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa will now be travelling to Liverpool to learn from how the hospital has significantly reduced the number of infections.

Prior to November 2008, The Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust was one of the poorest performing Trusts in the UK in terms of infection control. During a prolonged outbreak of Norovirus in 2007, 1,770 bed days were lost in three months costing the Trust around £708,000.

With a growing body of evidence suggesting that traditional manual processes often results in incomplete cleaning, The Royal Liverpool decided to take action and began to search for innovative methods to eliminate infection-causing pathogens. On a visit to the United States, Sue Redfern, Deputy Director of Nursing identified a process utilised by John Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore that partly attributed a reduction in healthcare associated infections rates to deep cleaning methods and area decontamination.

The Trust invested in a ground-breaking hydrogen peroxide mist technology which works by spraying out a low concentration mist which is dispersed to rapidly kill a multiple of pathogen. Alongside a greater emphasis on cleaning and cleaning standards, the technology was introduced in November 2008, and within four short months the system was already saving the hospital £650,000 or £500 per day to Norovirus alone.

Staff also witnessed a dramatic reduction in cases of Clostridium difficle and MRSA.  From 1st April 2008 to 31st March 2011 there was an 80.5% reduction in hospital acquired Clostridium difficle cases.  There was also an 86% reduction in hospital acquired MRSA cases during the same time period. Speaking about the technology, Diane Wake, executive director of nursing and operations and Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital stated:

“Patients can be reassured that we are continuing to see significant falls in the number of C diff and MRSA cases. We have halved our C diff rates in the last year. With a greater emphasis on cleaning and cleaning standards, and the use of innovative area decontamination solutions, we have made tackling healthcare associated infections our top priority, and our current performance clearly shows that our efforts are making a huge difference; we have gone from being one of the poorest to one of the best performing trusts in the country for infection control.”
A patient at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital, Mark Sutcliffe, also welcomed its national leadership in fighting HAIs:

“Cleanliness should always be the highest priority – everybody plays a part and is committed to help stay on top of HAIs. This is particularly important for me, as I’m highly immune-suppressed, meaning cleanliness is constantly front-of-mind. My immune system is next to zero, so if something is missed I could become very ill. I feel confident that at The Royal Liverpool University Hospital, I am well-protected. Having patients who are happy and emotionally comfortable helps the process of getting well.”

Advanced Sterilization Products are committed to supporting infection prevention by shaping the environment and driving new standards of care through Education, Engagement and Scientific Evidence. The Centre of Excellence at Liverpool will provide a platform for clinical leaders across EMEA to come together and share best practise and utilise the global leading facilities the NHS is investing in Liverpool.

Rebecca Eldridge from Advanced Sterilization Products stated:

“ASP seeks to dramatically raise the level of health and safety of all individuals worldwide. As the industry's infection prevention leader, ASP is focused on helping to ensure the safest possible environments for patients and their families, healthcare workers, providers and communities. The turnaround in infection rates at Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospital Trust is one that clinical leaders globally should hear about. That is why we  are delighted to announce they are to become the world’s first International Centre of Excellence in infection prevention. This status will allow healthcare practitioners globally to come together now and in the future to be at the cutting edge of ensuring we eradicate Healthcare Associated infection in our hospitals.”

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