Went along to a session at Ipswich Hospital this afternoon. It's not in the constituency but it's the main hospital for the constituency. I am a strong believer in the NHS but I have some concerns about Ipswich Hospital. The problems with capacity will not be sorted until the new Garrett Anderson centre is built and open, probably in 2007. I'll have to get by with pictures and promises for the campaign!
Today was about another problem: the MRSA superbug. I was very pleased with what I heard today. The Hospital is tackling the problem on several fronts:
- There is now a Director on the board responsible for hygiene
- They are running a pilot of housekeepers, dedicated to a ward. They are responsible for cleaning and some aspects of patient care such as feeding elderly or unwell patients
- Modern matrons are now in place. They are a point of contact for the public and have the power to make things happen
- More emphasis on handwashing and handwash is available on all wards
- Cleaning regime has been tightened up - for example cathiter stands are now raised up so that floors can be mopped underneath
The hospital is also doing more to involve patients and the patient's family in the care of the patient such as when nurse shifts change the changeover is done with the patient and not in the office.
These all sound like good initiatives but I suspect they will get a big test in the winter.