Superbug Tsar Is Hired to Rid Hospitals of Infection; Microbiologist Will Adopt 'Zero Tolerance'

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Byline: BY LIZA WILLIAMS Daily Post Staff

A SUPERBUG tsar has been hired to stamp out infections like MRS A and C difficile at two Liverpool hospitals.

Dr Godfrey Smith, consultant microbiologist at the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust, has been appointed as the lead doctor for the prevention of infections.

It is part of a new drive by the Trust to stamp out hospital acquired infections like C difficile which is on the rise at the Royal and Broadgreen, according to latest figures from the Health Protection Agency.

In the first three months of this year the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen hospitals had an unprecedented 195 cases of C Diff, a 58% increase on the 124 people diagnosed the same time in 2006.

Dr Smith will lead a programme of overhauling the way antibiotics are administered and employ a team of nurses to train staff about hygiene issues.

He said: "There is no reason why we cannot become one of the top ten performing hospitals in the country for preventing and reducing hospital acquired infection rates in the next year. I am determined to ensure this is what we achieve for our patients."

Working with the Trust's Infection Control Team, Dr Smith has spent the past two weeks reviewing what the Trust has done so far. The result has been the development of a 10-point plan, which was this week accepted by the Trust's most senior clinicians. A total of pounds 420,000 will be invested over the next 12 months to fund the plans.

The announcement of Dr Smith's appointment comes in the same month the Trust hosted a visit by a specialist team of experts from the Department of Health, which reviewed it's progress on reducing infections.

The team said the hospital had made strides in Renal services, Intensive Care and Vascular Surgery. But the team high-lighted some areas where improvements need to be made, for example more frequent audits of hand hygiene should be implemented. …