Vernacare helps Southern Health and Social Care Trust achieve top performance for infection prevention

Vernacare single-use toileting and washing system helps trust become top performer

Southern Health and Social Care Trust has been Northern Ireland's top-performing trust for infection prevention since records were first published in 2006.

The Public Health Agency's Summary tables for Clostridium difficile and MRSA (Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus) incidences show that for 2015/16 the trust is, once again, on course to be the best performer.

One of the rigorous infection prevention strategies used is a single-use system of patient toileting and washing, supplied by Vernacare.

The system is used on all wards across the trust's Daisy Hill Hospital at Newry. Disposable bedpans, urinals, washbowls and other containers made from renewable natural fibre are provided to patients. After use they are immediately placed in Vortex disposal machines, where they are broken down into a fine slurry that flows freely through the drains.

Margaret Markey, senior infection prevention and control nurse, said: "From a clinical point of view, the Vernacare single-use system is excellent. Patients get a clean container every time. and then the waste is safely flushed away, therefore reducing infection risk.

"The disposal process is very fast and slick and so the sluice rooms are kept clean and orderly, with the products stored tidily on racking. The disposal process uses cold water and little energy, so it's green as well as hygienic and helps save money on energy costs."

Vernacare invented the single-use method of human waste disposal more than 50 years ago and it is used by 96% of all NHS trusts and by hospitals in 48 countries.

It has been proven to increase patient and healthcare worker safety by contributing to the reduction in Clostridium difficile infections by as much as 56%, thus breaking the chain of infection.

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