Bug guidance for special care units

13 Feb 2012

England's special care units have been offered guidance on how to deal with pseudomonas bacteria.

Chief scientific adviser and chief medical officer for England, Professor Dame Sally Davies, said that the NHS must take steps to lessen the dangers of infection.

Best practice has been outlined in the guidance, when it comes to issues including equipment storage and the washing of babies.

The guidance states that handwashing stations in hospitals should only be used for their named purpose, and not for the washing of equipment, or for the disposal of bodily fluids.

Babies must only be washed with water "from outlets demonstrated to be safe established by water sampling and risk assessment", the guidance says.

Taps must be regularly flushed, and records of when this is done must be kept.

A risk assessment must also be developed by NHS trusts for the bug, similar to the existing legionella assessment.

"The risk assessment should identify elements such as at-risk patients and services, the suitability of the water distribution system - including types of taps used - identifying under-used outlets and hand-washbasins, use of flexible hoses," Prof Davies said.

Copyright Press Association 2012



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