The first annual Regional Symposium on Healthcare Associated Infection (HCAI), led by the Public Health Agency, takes place at 9.00am on Thursday 4 March 2010 at Greenmount College, Antrim.
The Symposium will feature contributions from experts in the field of HCAI from England, Scotland and Ireland. Each Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust will share best practice and discuss learning arising from work undertaken to date. The Patient Client Council will provide a perspective on patient experiences and expectations.
Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said:
“We have already made real progress in reducing the rate of healthcare associated infections and I would like to congratulate all those who have played a part in this achievement. However, I must emphasise that we can not be complacent and that there is still more to be done.
That is why today’s Symposium is so important. It represents a further step in tackling healthcare infections by providing an opportunity to share good practice and to learn more about what works so that we can continue to drive down the rate of infection even further.”
Lourda Geoghegan, Health Protection Consultant, Public Health Agency says,
“Participants will now have an annual opportunity to share best practice and learning on the identification and management of HCAIs across Northern Ireland. The Symposium will be an excellent opportunity to acknowledge the good work that has been done to achieve the recent reductions in HCAIs. It will also service to inform and guide our future work in this area”.
A particular focus of the day will be looking at practice across HSC organisations. Each HSC Trust will give one oral and a number of poster presentations detailing the progress achieved on HCAI prevention and reduction.
There have been significant reductions in both MRSA and Clostridium difficile over recent years in Northern Ireland – MRSA cases have decreased 42% between 2003 and 2009; Clostridium difficile cases in hospital patients aged 65 years and over have decreased 48% between 2006 and 2009.
It is important to take stock, review progress, and plan future partnership work to achieve further reductions in all HCAIs occurring across health and social care in NI. The Public Health Agency will continue to work with all partners to achieve these reductions – particularly focussing on hand hygiene, environmental cleanliness, prudent use of antibiotics and assuring compliance with best practice.
For media queries contact:
Margery Magee, Public Health Agency, Ormeau Avenue Unit Press Office on
Tel: 028 9031 1611
Mob 07802 2299945
Notes to the editor
1. The Public Health Agency was established in April 2009. The role of the Agency is to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of the population of Northern Ireland.
2. The Regional Healthcare Acquired Infection Symposium will commence at 9am and finish at 4.15pm. Speakers include:
• Ms Stella Cunningham, Patient Client Council
• Professor Brian Duerden, Inspector of Microbiology and Infection Control, Department of Health.
• Professor Mark Wilcox, Consultant Microbiologist, Head of Microbiology and Clinical Director of Pathology, Leeds Teaching Hospitals, Professor of Medical Microbiology, University of Leeds and the lead on Clostridium difficile, Health Protection Agency, England
• Professor Hilary Humphreys, Professor of Clinical Microbiology, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and Consultant Microbiologist
• Beaumont Hospital, Dublin
• Mr Martin Kiernan, Nurse Consultant, Infection Prevention,
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust and President, Infection
• Dr Stephanie Dancer, Consultant Microbiologist, NHS Lanarkshire