Infection Control Statement

Each year we at The Mill update our infection control statement. It is vital to us as a health organisation to ensure that our patients not only receive excellent care, but that it is received in a place safe from the risk of infection. It is of the utmost important to us to keep our patients safe and regular reviews of our infection control practices helps us to maintain our high standards of care.

The Mill’s Medical Practice infection prevention lead is Melisa Yeardley (Lead Practice Nurse) she is supported by Dr Steve Simons (Partner GP), Sue Bonner and Louise Bowers (Practice Managers) and Stephanie Berry (IT and Facilities Coordinator).

Purpose

Infection control and cleanliness is a fundamental factor for all staff working at The Mill Medical Practice. This is to ensure that patients, visitors and staff remain safe and protected at all times, avoid contamination and also cross contamination. Effective prevention and infection control is utilised daily and applied consistently by all members of staff. This statement is in accordance with the requirements of The Health and Social Care Act 2008 Code of Practice on the prevention and control of infections and related guidance.

This annual statement will be updated each year. It will include some of the following areas

  • Pandemic Covid-19
  • Incidents involving transmission of infection and action taken.
  • Annual infection control audit and actions taken following this.
  • Risk assessments and policies.
  • Details of staff training in prevention of infection control.
  • Infection control advice to patients.

Pandemic Covid-19

Covid-19 has been a challenge for everyone; however we have remained open throughout with some restrictions to our patients to provide care and support. We have safely been able to care for all our patients with guidance received frequently and updated from Public Health England (PHE) and the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) this is reviewed constantly as need or guidance are changed.

Appointments have been triaged and adapted during this time, with patients being able to receive remote consultations (video call or telephone calls), if appropriate, or face to face when this was not suitable for both parties. New guidance for safe practice as advised from PHE (Public Health England) and our local CCG (clinical Commissioning Group) has allowed us to see more patients face to face for consultations.

As a safety requirement an external porta cabin is in place to see patients that require face to face appointments, but have some symptoms that may be COVID-19.  Full use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is available. Single use items are used and staff have been trained how to apply and remove safely after use without risk of cross contamination. All staff are compliant with handwashing as per guidelines and applying and removing PPE without cross contamination.

Hand gel stations and hand washing advice is available for patients, staff and visitors at The Mill Medical Practice. A shielding plastic glass is now in place at reception. Frequent decontamination of the environment and equipment is carried out in accordance with guidelines. Social distancing is adhered to by ensuring rearrangements in communal areas are marked to ensure compliance. We are constantly revaluating this at all times as advised by PHE and the CCG.

All staff have received their COVID-19 vaccines and now boosters. Lateral flow tests are taken twice weekly or more frequently if indicated.

Transmission of infection / significant events

There have been no incidents of infection due to transmission reported to date. Chronic infected wounds have been isolated and no transmission to other patients has occurred. This was achieved by following microbiology guidance, appropriate use of oral antibiotics and antimicrobial dressings. In addition, strict techniques are adhered to by clinical staff and decontamination of work areas are cleaned as per decontamination policy.
The members of the infection control team work very closely with contracted cleaners to ensure the building is kept to the appropriate high standard within NHS cleaning specifications. This is laid out in their contract, insuring they comply with the cleaning regulations specifically for Primary Care and are also aware of additional COVID-19 cleaning requirements. Meetings with the manager of the contracting cleaning company ensure that this process runs effectively and any concerns are dealt with as they arise.

We have strict policies on cold chain to ensure our vaccines are kept at optimum temperature within our fridges. This ensures vaccines have not been affected which would alter its efficacy.

In House Audits

A recent audit was carried out by Melisa Yeardley earlier this year. This was to audit all clinical rooms to ensure that they were maintained to a high standard of infection control and waste disposal. This was also to confirm compliance with the Infection control and waste management policies. All clinical rooms are maintained to a high level of compliance and suggestions for improvement have been shared with staff.  In addition, with COVID-19, clinical rooms have been risk assessed and non-essential items have been removed to assist with cleaning after patients have used the room. All non-essential items have been removed from waiting areas.

In addition, Melisa Yeardley has started a weekly environmental cleanliness audit specific for General Practice to ensure high standards are maintained at all times

Minor surgery

Dr Steve Simons is responsible for minor surgery here at The Practice. He audits all procedures for possible post-operative complications/ infections.

He also audited the treatment room, where he performs minor operations and is satisfied that it is maintained to a high standard.

This room is cleaned prior to operations and this is logged whenever used.

During the pandemic minor operations stopped for a few months until new guidance was given that we can provide this service again. All COVID-19 measures are adhered to with regard to PPE and decontamination.

Risk Assessments and Policies

Risk assessments and policies are regularly updated to minimise the risk of infection and transmission to ensure the safety of patients, visitors and staff. Action and implementation has been carried out where necessary. A risk assessment and protocol for The Mill Medical Practice for COVID-19 is in place. This is reviewed frequently and. if required. amended with new advice from PHE and the CCG

Cleaning Specifications and Frequency

The Mill Medical Practice has contracted cleaners which we have had for approximately two years. The cleaners have provided an exceptional level of cleanliness to our practice and we are very happy with their work. Rooms are cleaned according to their usage/ purpose and cleaned appropriately as per policy.  They are audited by the company manager to guarantee standards are maintained. This is also inspected by the practice infection prevention team to ensure high standards are maintained.  All equipment used by medical staff is either single use or cleaned regularly after patient usage. Cleaning logs are recorded for many items of equipment that has patient contact and risk of transmission of potential infection.

Frequency of environmental cleaning in the surgery throughout the day has increased with the pandemic. All levels in the building are cleaned frequently by staff with particular regard to items that are frequently touched by staff, patients and visitors.

Toys

We encourage parents to bring in their own toys and books to entertain their children. We have removed all toys from the building.

Curtains

All clinical room have disposable curtains to reduce risk of infection transmission. Depending on location, these are changed every 6-12 months or when visibly dirty.

Staff Training

All staff are trained yearly on prevention and control of infection in general practice. New staff are trained as part of their induction and then annually.

The infection control team meet regularly for meetings to ensure we are providing the best practice in terms of infection control and prevention to patients, visitors and staff.

Staffs are fully aware of The Mill Medical Practice’s protocol and risk assessment as well as guidance from PHE and CCG and of current Pandemic requirements in infection prevention.

Policies and protocols

Protocols and policies are continually updated as advice changes and are subsequently distributed to all members of staff via emails or accessible on The Mill Medical Practice’s computer system.

Immunisation

As a practice we ensure that all our clinical staff receive vaccinations for Hepatitis B, COVID-19, influenza, and MMR if required.

We work closely with Public Health England in vaccinating people at risk and also to ensure we adhere and advise patients on possible outbreaks. Invitations and recall are monitored closely.

Again this year, due to the pandemic, we are providing a drive through flu clinic which allows us to vaccinate large numbers of patients that require the vaccine, but still allows us to comply with safety guidance.

We follow guidelines on child immunisations to protect the patient and also establish herd immunity. Again invitations and recall are monitored closely to ensure patients receive these vaccinations. We achieve an average annual result of 98% of children that have been vaccinated with appropriate age related vaccines.  World Health Organisation recommends at least 90-95% to ensure herd immunity.

Melisa Yeardley

Lead Practice Nurse

Lead Infection Prevention

October 2021