As a result of outbreaks or particular transmissible infections, microbiological screening of patients, staff and/or ward environment may be instigated by the Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPCT).
Ward staff should not commence outbreak screening without advice from the IPCT.
A named person on the ward must be accountable for the whole process.
Using the Microbiological Control Report (PDF) as the laboratory request form (it is not necessary to complete separate PIMS request forms):
- Fill in details:
- area tested = name of ward and specific site if environmental screening eg cubicle two
- date and time that screen commenced
- reason for testing - organism to be looked for
- infection control reference number if applicable
- consultant of original patient (for laboratory costing)
- Use a separate sheet for environment, staff, patients and parents. Keep two copies. Keep one copy in the ward/dept with a record of the swabs that have been taken, and return one copy to the laboratory with the specimens.
- Under source:
- list for patients - full name with GOSH number
- list for parents - full name and relationship to child eg Mary Smith, mother of John Smith
- list for staff - full name and designation
- for environment - the site from where the screen was taken eg floor by sink
Take appropriate specimens using transport medium and label correctly.
For staff include:
- the designation of the person eg doctor, nurse
- date of Birth
- OHD number if known
- For environmental sites, number each swab and include the ward/dept specific site
Secure each set of specimens together with an elastic band or Sellotape® (taking care to avoid label).
Put in plastic specimen transportation bag. Send to Microbiology as soon as possible and within four hours of the specimens being taken.
The IPCT will communicate with the unit on a daily basis or as required. A record of the incident, along with the results, are kept by the IPCT. The outcome of the investigation is fed back to the unit and relative action will be taken on positive results.
Coia JE, Duckworth GJ, Edwards DI, Farrington M, Fry C, Humphreys H, Mallaghan C, Tucker DR, Joint Working Party of the British Society of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, Hospital Infection Society, Infection Control Nurses Association (2006) Guidelines for the control and prevention of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in healthcare facilities. J Hosp Infect 63 Suppl 1: S1-44.
Document control information
Susan Macqueen, CNS and Lead Infection Control, Infection Control
Debra Bardell, CNS Infection Control (Former), Infection Control
Barbara Brekle, CNS Infection Control, Infection Control
Deirde Malone, Lead Nurse Infection Prevention & Control, Infection Control
Clinical Practice Committee
First introduced: 1 July 2002
Date approved: 26 October 2011
Review schedule: Two years
Next review: 28 October 2013
Document version: 3.0
Replaces version: 2.0