STAFF in Lincolnshire's hospitals have launched a major push to help reduce the impact of urinary tract infections for patients with catheters.
As part of the Safety Express Plus project, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust is intensifying its focus on key areas each month with a Four Months of Focus campaign.
During October the focus will be on catheter-acquired urinary tract infections (UTIs). These are urine infections that are caused by a catheter being in place.
During the month, events will be held so staff can have a conversation about UTIs and how improvements could be made to reduce the risk of them, as well as materials being circulated to remind staff about conversations they can have with patients to reduce their risk.
The particular focus will be on reducing the number of catheters that are used, and ensuring that catheters are only used when necessary, as well as ensuring they are used for the minimum possible length of time – all to reduce the likelihood of infection.
In addition, there is a focus on ensuring that risk assessments are properly carried out and reviewed daily.
Quality and Safety Manager for United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, Dr Steve Cross, said the campaign is aimed at re-invigorating the good work that has already taken place around catheter-acquired UTIs
He said: "The idea of these awareness months is to ensure we are doing everything we can to reduce the risk to patients.
"We've already done a lot of work in this area and seen some great results, but we know we can do more.
"We'd like to ensure that patients are only given catheters when absolutely necessary, and that all patients are properly educated on how to care for their catheter so that the risk of infection is reduced.
"The month is also about ensuring that our staff regularly re-assess patients for whether they need a catheter, because the risk is only there as long as the catheter is there."