The strain on the NHS is getting worse, so what can we do to help?
Human error is an inevitable part of daily life, where the health and wellbeing of others are the responsibility of human decision. Many factors make up why human error happens, whether it is competency, the lack of training, inconsistent processes, unreliable products, or even poor lighting, humans are not perfect: ‘to err is human’. However, there are ways to reduce this risk.
As the number of nurses from Europe decrease on a rapid scale by almost 90%, the NHS is left with a serious understaffing crisis throughout the UK. Up to 39,000 vacancies currently remain open for nurses and other hospital staff.
The importance to fill these roles rises with the
increasing number of flu cases that are being
seen earlier than anticipated. “There just aren’t
enough staff to deliver the care that is needed,
and now we have a nursing workforce crisis.”
England director for the Royal College of Nursing,
Patricia Marquis, attests.
A result of the understaffing issue could result in unnecessary deaths due to the strain put on the existing workforce.
The understaffing issue has created a snowball
effect throughout the various sectors within the
NHS. Because there is a shortage of aftercare
facilities and workers, thousands of patients are
stuck in Hospitals awaiting approval of further
care. This in turn takes up vital bed space for
those who require it more, again resulting in
unnecessary risks to patient’s health and lives.
It is deeply harrowing that the NHS is facing such a strain, especially due to increased flu numbers, COVID-19 remaining an issue, and the strain of Omicron currently spreading throughout parts of the UK.
With little end in sight to release the strain upon the NHS, the question presents itself: what can we do to help?
With the lack of funding for vital services such as Cancer treatments and staffing wages, a solution needs to be found that does not require a large fund to implement.
One of the best ways to do this is to help lower the infection rates within NHS hospitals. Human error within the disinfection process is a leading cause of Hospital Associated Infections (HAIs), which pose a serious risk to patients, staff, and visitors. As the staffing crisis has affected the housekeeping and domestics teams within hospitals, it is vital to train the remaining staff with the best, most efficient infection prevention practices and processes to reduce as much risk as possible.
Product training is important for those who are involved in the day-to-day cleaning and disinfection process within a hospital sector. It is vital that domestics and housekeeping as well as nursing staff are well informed with the products, they are using to be able to use them at optimum capacity.
It is important that staff are trained by the infection control company who supply the sanitisation products. This ensures the best training is given for the used products and processes, and also opens a direct channel of communication to the supplier if any issues arise or further help is required.
It is often the general consensus within the NHS that a hand hygiene product should contain a high percentage of alcohol content. However, more often than not, more than one spray or wipe is also required to sufficiently kill both bacteria and viruses, along with pathogens such as spores and fungi, due to their different ways of working.
Using a disinfectant that has to be activated or dissolved as a sachet hugely increases the risk of human error, and also requires more time to make. This in turn increases the process time for disinfection, something that is detrimental to the optimum running of a hospital.
One application with one wipe or ready to use spray will not only significantly reduce the risk of human error but increase the efficiency and speed of the decontamination process, freeing up bed space and helping to reduce HAIs.
Switching to an all-in-one infection control solution would also bring about cost efficiencies which would again help the NHS at this time in their focus to bring about savings where possible. It is key to keep it simple and easy for teams to use. This will help them in their great efforts to get the job done well.
Medi9 offers an all-in-one solution for surface, medical device, and hand & skin sanitisation. Medi9 is bactericidal and viricidal, sporicidal and fungicidal; one ready to use complete system.
While Medi9 may not be the lowest cost of infection control products, it offers a lot more value, bringing about overall cost reductions for the organisation.
The range is proven to reduce infection rates within Hospital settings, achieving a 30% reduction in C.Difficile infection rates throughout Northern Lincolnshire & Goole NHS Trust hospitals. Many Hospitals and NHS Trusts who have moved to use Medi9 exclusively throughout their hospitals have reported positive results with both efficiency of the cleaning process and quality of product.
Nine Group provides all the required training and audit services to make sure the client gets up and running as quickly and efficiently as possible with minimal disruption.
The focus at this time needs to be looking to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of infection prevention within NHS Hospitals to help reduce the strain upon their understaffed workers.
Efficient products and procedures should be investigated and implemented throughout the cleaning and decontamination process to ensure the best possible protection against HAIs. This will result in a reduction of infection rates within hospitals and more availability of bed space for patients who require urgent care.
We must all do our part to help the NHS staffing crisis as much as possible within our capability. The Medi9 infection range will have a large impact on the day-to-day running of hospitals and healthcare centres. We believe that, with Medi9, we could help stop unnecessary deaths and help improve the lives and health of all.