Infection control is covered under Regulation 12 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008(Regulated Activities) Regulations 2010. It states that:
(1) The registered person must, so far as reasonably practicable, ensure that” (a) service users;
(b) persons employed for the purpose of the carrying on of the regulated activity; and (c) others who may be at risk of exposure to a health care associated infection arising from the carrying on of the regulated activity, are protected against identifiable risks of acquiring such an infection by the means specified in paragraph (2). (2) The means referred to in paragraph (1) are”
(a) the effective operation of systems designed to assess the risk of and to prevent, detect and control the spread of a health care associated infection; (b) where applicable, the provision of appropriate treatment for those who are affected by a health care associated infection; and (c) the maintenance of appropriate standards of cleanliness and hygiene in relation to”
(i) premises occupied for the purpose of carrying on the regulated activity, (ii) equipment and reusable medical devices used for the purpose of carrying on the regulated activity, and (iii) materials to be used in the treatment of service users where such materials are at risk of being contaminated with a health care associated infection.
Last December 2011, we had an outbreak of Norovirus in our Care home. On handover, it has been reported that there is already a number of service users suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea. The home manager has already been informed and has given instructions on how to deal with the situation It is my responsibility as a senior carer to risk assess the situation. I contacted the infection control team in our area was straight away to seek advice. They have sent us information regarding the nature of the virus and advice us on the necessary precautions we needed to take and I also read the homes policies and procedure with regards to infection control.
According to the Infection control team, the norovirus, which is highly contagious, causes vomiting and diarrhoea. As there is no specific cure, you have to let it run its course. The virus is easily spread by contact with an infected person, especially through their hands. You can also catch it through contaminated food or drink or by touching contaminated surfaces or objects. All service users were informed of the situation and were advice to stay in their rooms even if they were not suffering from any symptoms.
This is minimise contact and prevent the further spread of the virus to other service users. I also made sure that families, relatives and all other visitors were advice of the situation and only visit if absolutely necessary as not to spread the infection outside the home. As part of my risks assessment, diarrhoea and vomiting my cause dehydration, I made sure all service users have plenty to drink. Service users were served with easily digestible food. I reminded all staff about the proper hand washing technique and its importance of being carried out before and after attending to any service user.
My employer has the responsibility to provide us with all necessary PPEs as stated in the Personal Protective Equipment 1992. PPE is defined in the Regulations as all equipment which is intended to be worn or held by a person at work and which protects him against one or more risks to his health or safety, e.g. gloves, aprons, masks. As an employee and a senior carer, it is my responsibility to make sure that my staff and I are using PPEs properly in accordance with the trainings set by our employer.
All service users were monitored closely. I record the changes in their symptoms in the daily care records and made sure to pass this information to the staff in the next shift. I contacted the Infection control team regularly to reported changes in the situation.