All renal patients at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital screened after failure to isolate ‘superbug’ patient

PUBLISHED: 07:01 31 January 2018 | UPDATED: 07:11 31 January 2018

All renal patients at Stevenage's Lister Hospital screened after failure to isolate a patient  known to have a 'superbug'. Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust.

All renal patients at Stevenage's Lister Hospital screened after failure to isolate a patient known to have a 'superbug'. Picture: East and North Herts NHS Trust.

Archant

All patients on the renal ward at Stevenage’s Lister Hospital are being screened after a patient known to have a ‘superbug’ was not isolated when readmitted onto the ward.

The patient has CPO – referred to as a ‘superbug’ because infection caused by it can be difficult to treat as the bacteria can produce enzymes which destroy most available antibiotics. Symptoms of CPO can include pain and fever.

According to a January report by the Infection Prevention and Control Board of the East and North Hertfordshire NHS Trust, which runs Lister Hospital, it says: “A known CPO positive patient was not isolated on readmission to the renal ward.

“All patients on the ward are being screened as a precautionary measure.”

The report goes on to say: “There have been at least two other incidents of known CPO positive patients being readmitted without their infectious status being recognised by the admitting team.

“This is likely to reoccur due to the limitations of the current manual surveillance process, which cannot flag up such patients to the Infection Prevention and Control Team.

“The team currently lacks an automated process to alert them to the readmission of patients with transmissible organisms.”

A spokesman for the NHS trust told this paper that there is “significant work” that needs to be done regarding ICNet – a software tool that helps NHS trusts better manage infection prevention and risks.

He said: “Introducing ICNet brings with it both technical and funding challenges and currently the NHS trust is working up a business case to support its introduction.”

When it comes to other superbugs, however, our NHS trust is faring considerably better – with just one case of MRSA recorded since April last year and 19 cases of clostridium difficile reported during the same period. To put this into context, there were 42 cases of MRSA and a whopping 475 cases of clostridium difficile recorded by the NHS trust in 2007.

Promoting hand-washing among staff, patients and visitors, creating an isolation ward, a deep cleaning programme and the introduction of a range of new clinical policies and guidelines all played their part in the dramatic reduction in hospital-acquired infections.

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