The new national Protocol for the MRSA Screening National Rollout in Scotland was announced in February 2011. The protocol consists of a Clinical Risk Assessment, this means that admissions into the acute hospitals will be asked three questions. If an individual answers “yes” to any of the questions then two swab samples will be taken for laboratory testing for MRSA. NHS Lanarkshire has a team in place to support the roll out of this protocol. The team consists of Project Manager, who will lead the project and three MRSA Surveillance Nurses to support the implementation at each of the three acute sites.
In high-risk units, NHS Lanarkshire has active MRSA surveillance programmes to identify any outbreaks early and act fast to stop the spread of infection. MRSA is spread mainly by contact between individuals and the importance of adhering to the stringent hand-washing policy is emphasised to all staff
NHS Lanarkshire follows all national guidelines on infection control procedures and automatically screens those patients who are considered high risk, such as those in intensive care or within the renal unit based at Monklands Hospital.
If a patient is found to carry MRSA they will be treated using antiseptic skin cleansers, nose sprays and ointment, which can be successful in removing MRSA from the body.
Other measures routinely practised include nursing suspected MRSA patients in isolation and screening staff in the event of an outbreak.
MRSA is spread mainly by contact between individuals and the importance of adhering to the stringent hand-washing policy is emphasised to all staff. Lanarkshire has been commended nationally for its pioneering work, using ultra violet light to ensure effective hand-washing policies.
MRSA bacteraemia rates are fed to Health Protection Scotland and these are published regularly and are available on the Health Protection Scotland website. These figures show that all of Lanarkshire’s Hospitals are comparable to the national average.