Infection control

Providing high quality services in a safe and clean environment is our number one priority, therefore infection prevention and control maintains a high profile with United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust.

The nature of hospitals, where there are many sick people in close proximity inevitably increases the risk of infection.

The Trust takes healthcare associated infections very seriously and a huge amount of work is done across the Trust’s hospitals in a bid to reduce the number of these infections amongst our patient groups.

Initiatives include deep cleans, mandatory training for all staff around infection prevention and control and improving specific antibiotic prescribing.

Alcohol hand rubs are available at the entrance to each ward and department across all our hospital sites. Information and advice is also displayed in these locations and within the wards and departments to ensure individuals understand the importance of correct and appropriate hand decontamination.

Visitors are encouraged by ward staff to wash their hands on entering and leaving the patient’s room or bedside and are asked not to sit on patients beds when visiting.

Members of the public are also advised not to visit patients in the hospital if they are unwell themselves.

It is important that all persons within a hospital, not just staff undertake appropriate effective hand hygiene.

The Trust’s rates of MRSA and Clostridium difficile continue to compare favourably with those of many similar hospitals in England and Wales however we cannot afford to be complacent as bacteria like to survive and adapt to fight off the effects of antibiotics resulting in antibiotic resistance.

The infection control team works with healthcare staff both within the organisation and across boundaries to ensure that our annual programme of work is actioned, reviewed and updated to ensure that we all work to objectives aimed at minimising and controlling infection.

Hand hygiene
Cleaning hands is one of the simplest, and most effective ways to prevent bacteria (germs) being passed from person to person.

All staff, patients and visitors should clean their hands on a regular basis.

Staff can help protect you by washing their hands or by cleaning them with the alcohol hand rub before examining you or providing care. If a member of staff needs to examine you, do not be afraid to ask if they have cleaned their hands.

Patients and visitors are also welcome to use the alcohol hand rub to clean their hands before and after entering a clinical area.

You should wash your hands i.e. with soap and water:

  • After visiting the toilet or using a commode
  • Before eating or handling food
  • If your hands are dirty
  • Before visiting a patient and again before leaving the ward.
  • In cases of C.diff or norovirus

All staff should clean their hands before and after they have direct contact with you.

Outbreaks of illnesses
Hospitals are a primary focus for patients seeking help with illness and it is very important to take steps to contain and help prevent the spread of infectious diseases. Hospital outbreaks usually include outbreaks of norovirus (diarrhoea and vomiting) in a number of patients and influenza (flu) like illnesses.

There are several simple measures that you can take to help stop it from escalating. These include frequent hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes with a sleeve or tissue and staying home when having several episodes of diarrhoea and/or vomiting or experiencing flu like illness yourself.

Anyone visiting our hospitals must comply with our visiting policy. Latest information on visiting can be found on the news section.

Appropriate use of antimicrobials
Please find following leaflets about how you can support us to use antibiotics appropriately and  how to manage your illness:

Antibiotic Guardian Healthcare leaflet

Antibiotic Guardian Patients and Public leaflet

Get Well Soon without antibiotics leaflet

#flufighter campaign
From October right through until March, the Trust offers free vaccinations against the flu to all frontline ULHT workers.

Since the programme began back in 2002, our vaccinations rates have risen year on year and last year we were delighted to see 89.9% of staff receive their flu jabs – the highest we have achieved to date.

This year we are aiming to achieve an even higher percentage, to ensure that our staff remain as healthy as possible at work, which in turn will help protect all our patients and their families.





Director of Infection Prevention and Control annual report 2020-2021

IPC Annual Report 2020-2021

How we are performing 2020/21

2020-2021 has been an unprecedented year with IPC being at the forefront of the COIVD-19 pandemic response.

MRSA bacteraemia
Annual objective 0
Performance 3 cases

Clostridium difficile
Annual objective 110 with an internal target of 66
Performance 66 cases

The Trust has reported thirty-four E Coli blood stream infections during the year 2020-2021. This is a 32% reduction on 2019-2020, when the Trust reported fifty-one E Coli blood stream infections.

The Trust has reported fifteen Pseudomonas aeruginosa blood stream infections during the year 2020-2021. This is a 21% reduction on 2019-2020, when the Trust reported nineteen Pseudomonas aeruginosa blood stream infections.

The Trust has reported thirty-one Klebsiella species blood stream infections during the year 2020-2021.  This is a 45% increase from 2019-2020 when the Trust reported seventeen Klebsiella species blood stream infections.

On 5th March 2020, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Trust enacted the Pandemic Flu plan and elements of the Major Incident Plan and put in place Command and Control systems. The infection prevention and control governance structure was adjusted to support the Trust and staff to safely manage the IPC requirements. Daily IPC Cells were established, chaired by the DIPC or Deputy DIPC to provide support, guidance, implementation of IPC policy and practice relating to COVID-19, manage outbreaks and provide assurance to the Trust board.

Panel meetings with NHSE/I were established to provide assurance and to share and learn lessons from other Trusts.

Throughout the pandemic the Trust has followed national guidance for all matters relating to infection, prevention and control.

We will continue to reflect and ensure we learn any lessons from managing the pandemic, prepare for any further surges and continue to play our part as we move to COVID-19 being endemic in our population.

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, systems and process for the management of all infections have been reviewed and updated, new audit processes and tools implemented and governance arrangements and assurance strengthened.

How we are performing 2019/20

MRSA bacteraemia
Annual objective 0
Performance 3

Clostridium difficile
Annual objective 110
Performance 46

How we performed 2018-2019

MRSA Bacteraemia
Annual objective – zero tolerance
Current performance – 3

Clostridium difficile
Annual objective – 58
Current performance – 57

How we performed 2017/2018

MRSA Bacteraemia
Annual objective – zero tolerance
Performance – 2

Clostridium difficile
Annual objective – 59
Performance – 69