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The Infection Control Annual Statement
The Department of Health guidelines stipulates the type of information required within the Care Home Annual Statement. Care Homes are required to produce an Infection Control Annual Statement as part of compliance with the Department of Health Code of Practice and the Health and Social Care Act 2008. The following sections are recommended areas by the Department of Health guidance to cover with additional QCS suggestions to ensure each annual Statement is bespoke to the care home.
Introduction to the Annual Infection Control Statement
An introduction could be included to state who has produced the annual infection control statement. It could include the period of time that the annual statement is covering, for example from the end of April 2015 to the beginning of May 2016 for a period of one year. The care home should produce an annual statement that is available to anyone that requests to see it.
Outbreaks of Infection
This should contain a brief summary of any outbreak of an infection such as any multiple cases of diarrhoea and vomiting, norovirus, or Clostridium difficile. The summary should contain:
- The timescale of the outbreak
- The number of people affected
- The duration
- The precautions taken to manage the outbreak
- Any lessons learnt and action taken following an outbreak.
It should also cover how the outbreak was communicated both to staff in the home and to families and visitors outside the home. The summary should include new cases of infection which were diagnosed after admission to the care home. It should also detail the number of people admitted with infections. A summary of any other notifiable disease within the year should also be summarised.
Alternatively include a statement as follows which will cover the fact that no outbreaks occurred:
There have been no significant events reported regarding infection control issues in the period covered by this report.
Monitoring is required in the form of audits and inspections. External and internal personnel can carry out the audit. The person undertaking the audit must be competent. Include in the Annual Statement a summary of audits undertaken. The areas to cover include:
- The name of the person undertaking the audit
- The date and time of the audit
- The scope of the audit
- The name of the audit tool
- The frequency of the audit
- Whether it was an internal audit or one undertaken by an external body
Describe the action taken following the audits and whether the audit actions are now closed or open and require further work to close.
Include details of any changes to risks assessments undertaken or introduced during this period and a summary of the assessment of the risks to persons receiving care with respect to prevention and control of infection. In addition, risk assessments should be undertaken for example:
- Each person who has a catheter;
- PEG feed;
- Pressure sore;
- Other factor which makes them more susceptible to the risk of infection.
Any person who has repeatedly been prescribed medication for infections should be identified and a review undertaken to determine how the risk of infection can be minimised in future. Examples of items to include cover areas such as whether a legionella risk assessment is required or checking that waste contractors are registered with Environment Agency.
Instruction, information and training in infection prevention and control received by staff. All personnel must have suitable and sufficient instruction, information, training and supervision. Detail of training completed and future training organised and required could be included in the annual statement. Include a summary of:
- The numbers of staff who received training
- The number who received refresher/update training and the numbers who are awaiting training.
Details on the nature of the training should be listed along with the source of the training. Details of planned training in the following year can be covered.
Review and Update of Policies, Procedures and Guidance
The annual statement should include details of the review and updating of policies, procedures and guidance This should identify which policies/procedures/guidance were due for review in the period, the changes that were made and the new review date.
Any actions taken following an outbreak of infection or following recommendations from an audit. The specific actions should be stated where changes in practice have been implemented and new learning outcomes should be described where training materials have been updated.
The statement should provide brief details on how the outbreak was communicated both to staff in the home and to families and visitors outside the home. The review of the statement needs to be outlined. An example that could be included is:
The infection control annual statement will be reviewed and updated annually but is amended accordingly /updated on an ongoing basis as current advice and guidelines change.
The annual infection control statement could be signed and dated.
Additional Areas Bespoke to your Care Home
In addition the annual infection control statement could include the specific responsibilities of personnel who hold infection control roles within the care home such as the Infection Control Lead person.
QCS have guidance and policies for infection control to support your service in meeting the requirements of infection control and prevention.