Infection Control and a tour of Annie Zunz Ward

by Susan Maxwell (Patient Governor)—It was planned that my first Governor/Senior Nurse Round would start with sitting in on an Infection Control Committee (ICC). Kathryn Mangold, General Manager and Directorate Nurse for Gynaecology and the Assisted Conception Unit, who accompanied me was a little concerned that I would find the meeting a dry affair. She shouldn't have worried because the meeting, chaired by Dr Berge Azadian, the Director of Infection Prevention and Control, proved to be extremely interesting.

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Susan Maxwell, Patient Governor

E: susan.maxwell@chelwest.nhs.uk

It was planned that my first Governor/Senior Nurse Round would start with sitting in on an Infection Control Committee (ICC). Kathryn Mangold, General Manager and Directorate Nurse for Gynaecology and the Assisted Conception Unit, who accompanied me was a little concerned that I would find the meeting a dry affair. She shouldn't have worried because the meeting, chaired by Dr Berge Azadian, the Director of Infection Prevention and Control, proved to be extremely interesting.

I was fascinated and most impressed at just how thoroughly the ICC examines the different data each month. As a patient here, I found it most reassuring that these meetings go into finite detail on every ongoing aspect of infection control. The Infection Control team contribute greatly to the Patient Environmental Action Team (PEAT) auditing results. It doesn't surprise me at all that the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital has attained triple excellence status for the second year running.

The meticulous and accurate collection of data was, in most cases, down to an auditing tool called Synbiotix. After the Infection Control meeting, Anthony Pritchard (who was Acting Chief Nurse at the time) offered me the chance to see a demonstration of the way information on the Trustwide handwashing audits could be viewed and accessed, right down to an individual's performance. From a patient's point of view, this sort of 'immediate' data retrieval is most reassuring as it has the added bonus of being an excellently accurate Care Quality Commission evidence and management system.

Kathryn and I then went to speak to patients on Annie Zunz Ward. Patient Governor Wendie McWatters wrote glowingly of this ward in the April edition of Trust News, so I can only reiterate that it truly lives up to the high reputation it has earned for excellence. This is mainly down to the leadership of Sister Mary Knight and her loyal team of ward staff. They all strive to give the highest possible service to the patients in their care.

I found the atmosphere of the ward to be serene. I spoke to some of the ward staff and they stated how much they liked working there. This has a lot to do with Mary Knight's leadership qualities. She leads by example.

The patients we spoke to all expressed satisfaction with the level of cleanliness, patient dignity and with the level of information about their treatment. They felt easily empowered to ask their consultant questions about upcoming procedures and their ongoing treatment. There were varying comments on the quality of the catering, but for the most part patients felt that overall it wasn't bad.

There were just two instances of patients being disturbed by night noise, mainly from emergency patients being admitted, and it was pointed out that eye masks and earplugs were available on each ward. It was agreed that in future, patients would be made aware of this facility on admission. It will certainly be mentioned in the forthcoming new information booklet for incoming patients.

All in all, I think these Lead Nurse/Governor ward rounds are an interesting factor in improving the patient experience. It is hoped to continue them on a regular basis.

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