3.2 Detection and recognition of a Healthcare Infection incident/outbreak or data exceedance

An early and effective response to an actual or potential healthcare incident, outbreak or data exceedance is crucial. The local Board IPCT and HPT should be aware of and refer to the national minimum list of alert organisms/conditions. See Appendix 13.

Healthcare associated infection (HAI) Surveillance systems should be used to aid incident/outbreak detection using a combination of retrospective detection of cases alongside prospective enhanced surveillance in high-risk settings (ICU/PICU/NICU, oncology/haematology). A risk-based approach should be applied for other vulnerable groups e.g. cystic fibrosis, oncology and those undergoing renal dialysis.

Local surveillance/reporting systems should be used for recognition and detection of potential healthcare infection incidents/outbreaks within NHS boards. Systems should make use of ‘triggers’ to allow prompt detection of any variance from normal limits.

The Infection Prevention & Control Team (IPCT)/Health Protection Team (HPT) should utilise surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance systems to identify specific post-surgical healthcare infection incidents/outbreaks (in line with national SSI surveillance program as a minimum).

3.2.1 Assessment

Following detection/recognition of an incident/outbreak a member of IPCT or HPT will:

3.2.2 Investigation, management and communication

The IPCT/HPT will establish an IMT if required.

If staff screening is being considered as part of the investigation DL (2020)1 must be followed.

3.2.3 Communications

Closure of incident/outbreak with lessons learned

The IMT Chair, in discussion with the IMT, should determine whether further reporting on the incident and the incident management is required i.e. SBAR Report and full IMT report template are available in the resources section of the NIPCM website.