Hospital leads the way in ending op infection risks

Wrightington Hospital
Wrightington Hospital

A specialist medical hub will be stepping up its efforts to reduce infections for patients having joint replacement ops.

Wrightington Hospital has joined forces with 30 organisations across the NHS to tackle MSSA, a common cause of infection in hip and knee replacement surgery.

The collaboration, named Quality Improvement for Surgical Teams (QIST), will see more patients screened for the bug and body wash, with nasal gel treatments given to people carrying it.

Joanne Bark, directorate manager for trauma and orthopaedics at Wrightington, Wigan and Leigh NHS Foundation Trust, which includes the hospital, said: “We are delighted to be part of this unique programme, which will help us to improve care for our patients and support further adoption across the NHS so many more patients can benefit in the future too.

“If, through this collaborative, we can prevent even just one infection – which can be devastating and life-changing for any patient and their loved ones – that will be fantastic.

“By joining forces and working collaboratively I am confident that being part of this project will benefit far more patients than that and beyond our local area too.”

Research has shown that interventions, such as using nasal gel and body washes, can reduce infection from MSSA by 60 per cent in some cases.

These interventions have already been tested by Northumbria Healthcare, which has adapted an MSSA “checklist” for patients having joint replacement ops.

Prof Mike Reed, clinical director for trauma and orthopaedics at Northumbria Healthcare and chief investigator for the QIST infection collaborative, said:

“The overall ambition of this collaborative is to prove the case we can successfully introduce these interventions and improve care for patients having joint replacement surgery so that they become routine clinical practice across the NHS.”

Mrs Bark added: “Wrightington Hospital has an international reputation for excellence in orthopaedics; we carry out more orthopaedic activity than any other hospital in the North West - over 3,000 hip and knee surgery replacements each year.

“We are first in England for the volume of hip and shoulder replacements undertaken and third in England for volume of knee replacements.

“We are ranked first in the whole of the UK for low infection rates within the NHS and the quality of our surgical operations means that the need for additional surgery is below the national average, which means patients have a much higher chance of experiencing long-term results.”