North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust is absolutely committed to patient safety and at the forefront of this is protecting staff and patients from acquiring an avoidable infection.

Covid-19 has shown the world what we’ve always known – the trust’s team of infection prevention control specialists are essential to keeping the world safe.

International Infection Prevention Week (IIPW), established in 1986, aims to shine a light on infection prevention each and every year.

This year is a celebration of the bravery and tireless efforts of the world’s infection prevention teams and because they are battling a global pandemic and keeping the world safer, this year’s theme is ‘We Love Our IPs’.

Becky Proudfoot, infection prevention and control nurse specialist at NCIC, said: “One of the roles of the infection prevention and control team is to ensure that staff, patients and visitors are fully educated in what they can do to prevent the spread of infections.

“If you asked any infection prevention nurse they would all agree the number one thing you can do to prevent the spread of infection is wash your hands.

“The emergence of Covid-19 has led to additional important measures such as compulsory mask wearing and two-metre social distancing.

The trust came up with the slogan ‘Don’t Be A Covid Contact’ to encourage staff to social distance.

It also has a ‘Be A Champion’ campaign urging staff to champion the right behaviours.

Becky said the ‘Be A Champion’ campaign urges staff to:

  • remember the importance of hand hygiene;
  • ensure they are wearing the right personal protective equipment for the task (face mask at all times in the hospital setting);
  • adhere to social distancing in work and socially.

“We know this can be difficult but we all must play our part in controlling the virus.’’

During IIPW, which runs from today until October 24, the infection prevention team will be visiting hospital wards and other areas of the trust to promote the importance of infection prevention measures around hospitals.

Becky added: “Audits are regularly performed throughout the trust to ensure adherence to important measures such as hand hygiene, the use of PPE and monitoring cleaning standards.”