In November of 2016 Jeremy Hunt publicly applauded the efforts of the NHS in tackling CDiff and MRSA, whilst setting new targets regarding E-coli for 2020.
These new plans build on the progress made in infection control since 2010 – the number of MRSA cases has been reduced by 57% and C. difficile by 45%.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt said,
"The NHS can rightly be proud that in the last 6 years we’ve reduced the number of MRSA cases by 57% and C. difficile by 45%. These aren’t abstract numbers – they show that we have prevented the needless suffering – sometimes fatal suffering – of over 60,000 people in that period. Because every avoidable infection also has a financial cost, we know that progress has also saved the NHS over half a billion pounds".
A third of E. coli infections are now resistant to antibiotics and those who are infected with a resistant strain are twice as likely to die as those who pick up a non-resistant strain. These new plans are also part of the government’s commitment to tackle antimicrobial resistance, which includes resistance to antibiotics.
E. coli infections have increased by a fifth in the last 5 years. Targeting preventable infections like E. coli helps to make surgeries and care homes safer for patients and reduce the need for antibiotics, therefore reducing the opportunity for infections to develop a resistance to them.
Also in 2016 Sir Bruce Keogh announced new plans for tackling Sepsis. Since April 2015 the number of people screened for sepsis has significantly increased, and it is now being diagnosed and treated quicker than ever before. However, one in four acutely ill patients is still not being tested early enough.
Anyone can develop sepsis after an injury or minor infection, although some people are at higher risk such as those with a weakened immune system, a serious illness, the very young or very old, or those who have just had surgery or wounds as a result of an accident.
Professor Sir Bruce Keogh said:
“Doctors, nurses and other health professionals are spotting and treating more cases of sepsis than ever before, but there is still more we can do to reduce the number of families experiencing the heartache of losing a loved one from sepsis".
Nearly a year on from the launch of NHS England’s Sepsis Action Plan much has been done, but the next wave of activity is already underway and further measures to help support healthcare professionals to recognise and treat sepsis early are expected over the course of the next year.
In February 2017, working closely with NHSE, NHSI, and PHE, Knowlex brought together over 400 healthcare professionals in London to drill deeper into how these announcements could be developed into feet on the ground activities. The themes for discussion and policy definitions included, gram-negative infection and e-coli, UTIs and Sepsis. This event also included the ongoing battle to avoid the hanging sword of Damocles that is AMR and included an overview of the 2017-19 CQUIN quality premiums. To ensure comprehensive national access to these vital potentially life-saving and educational programmes we have been asked to share the London learnings with those who were unable to join us. The themes from London will form the core agenda for our summer conference in Leeds this year. We will seek to bring together industry innovation, NHS best practice and case studies to present a truly interactive knowledge exchange.
We hope you can join us in Leeds in early July 2017