Reducing healthcare associated infections is a high priority for the NHS. A new initiative launched in Hull - the C.diff Card - aims to keep Clostridium-difficile (C.diff) infection rates low, and protect patients at risk of re-occurrence of the infection
The C.diff Card has been developed by City Health Care Partnership CIC (CHCP CIC) and NHS Hull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).
NHS Hull CCG is the first in the Humber area to adopt the use of the C.diff card and CHCP CIC Infection Prevention and Control Nurses and local GP and CCG lead for Quality, Dr James Moult, will join health care staff and local care home staff to officially launch the card on Friday 5 July 2013.
From 15 July 2013 the C-diff Card will be issued to patients who test positive for C.difficile in hospital or via their GP surgery. The card is designed to be shown wherever the patient accesses health services, which could include their own GP, out of hours GP, practice nurse, local pharmacy, hospital or dentist. It will help to ensure patients receive appropriate drug prescribing to reduce the likelihood of them developing, or having a re-occurrence of, the C.difficile infection.
Carrying the C.diff card is voluntary and it is supported by personal contact from the CHCP CIC Community Infection Prevention & Control Team. It is hoped that, in addition to reducing infection rates, the C.diff Card will help local patients to take a more active role in decisions around their own care.
As the support and involvement of Hull’s health and social care community is critically important, a number of events led by the CHCP CIC Community Infection Prevention & Control Team took place across Hull during June and July to introduce the new initiative.
Jo Raper, City Health Care Partnership CIC Infection Prevention & Control Nurse Manager explained,
“This card is a result of a huge amount of work with both patients and local health and social care organisations. Simply by showing the card when visiting their GP, a nurse or even their dentist, patients testing positive to C.diff can get the best possible support and ensure that any medication prescribed won’t adversely affect their condition. Ultimately we hope it will make a real difference to reducing the risks associated with C.diff in our local area.”
Dr James Moult, local GP and Hull CCG lead for Quality, said:
“As a GP, patients tell me that they want to be more actively involved in managing their own health. The Card is a very welcome development that supports clinicians, to make the best decisions, with their patients, about their on-going health care, particularly if they have a history of C.difficile.
“The key to success with this initiative is involving everyone across health and social care community in the fight against healthcare associated infections. This includes patients who will feel more supported and empowered by carrying the card.”
The C.diff card and supporting materials have been developed with assistance from other organisations that have already successfully launched the programme in other areas of Yorkshire.
A Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a type of bacterial infection that can affect the digestive system. It most commonly affects people who have either a serious underlying condtion, those who have had recent antibiotic treatment, have recently been in hospital and those who live in care homes. People in their own homes can also have C.difficile”.. The symptoms of CDI can range from mild to severe and include:
• Diarrhoea which can be mild or severe, which is often very offensive smelling.
• A high temperature (fever) of or above 38C (100.4F)
• Painful abdominal cramps or stomach ache
• Blood in faeces
• Stomach is tender to touch.
• Loss of appetite
• Feeling tired
NHS Hull CCG and City Health Care Partnership CIC work in partnership with other organisations to reduce the incidence of C.diff infection by reviewing incidents of C.diff, monitoring antibiotic prescribing and providing education of service providers and raising awareness regarding the prescribing of high risk antibiotics across both acute and primary care.