Learning From Outbreaks To Reduce Infections

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Clostridium Difficile Infection

New online video tool to help NHS tackle Clostridium difficile infection.

The Department of Health and BMJ Learning today launched the latest in a range of tools to help doctors, nurses and other NHS staff tackle Clostridium difficile infection.

A new online video module shows a patient's experience of contracting C. difficile and looks at how the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust managed to control an outbreak, sharing the lessons they learned about prevention.

Chief Nursing Officer Christine Beasley said "Staff must understand the causes of infections and learn the lessons from outbreaks in order to prevent other outbreaks in the future. This module is a very useful addition to staff training and is based on one Trust's success in controlling infections.

"Royal Devon and Exeter have made some excellent progress on C. difficile infection and the staff involved should be congratulated. This video provides other trusts with a resource to help them do the same."

When using the training module, staff will watch video footage and then reflect on the information they have seen, answering a series of questions to assess their understanding before moving onto the next phase.


The DH expect that over 10,000 members of staff will complete the 40 minute module before the end of the year and once completed, NHS staff should know:

- How to diagnose and treat patients with C. difficile infections

- The importance of hand hygiene in preventing infection

- The importance of the cautious use of antibiotics

- The importance of understanding the patient experience

Dr Kieran Walsh, Editor of BMJ Learning said "Clostridium difficile infection is all too common and usually strikes patients at their most vulnerable. The doctors and nurses in this module have learned from experience how best to prevent and manage outbreaks and have in effect become experts. We hope this resource enables all NHS staff to learn from their experience and expertise."

The video module showing staff how they can tackle the infection is now available free of charge on the BMJ website, allowing staff to learn at their own speed and at a time convenient to them.

Professor Brian Duerden, Inspector of Microbiology & Infection Control said "Urgent action is needed to reduce cases of Clostridium difficile. We need to ensure that all staff, not only infection control staff, can play their part in robust infection prevention and control. This module enables staff to learn from the experiences of others and can only be a positive addition to the available resources."


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