Posted by: Witch Doctor | November 2, 2007

MRSA and My Less Irksome Friend (2)



When My Less Irksome Friend was faced with the task of getting rid of MRSA for a busy hospital unit, he knew what had to be done first.

He had to identify the staff in the unit who would quickly grasp the problem, would immediately act on it, and ensure progress was maintained.

No committees, no talking shops. Just a small meeting of “key people” on the “shop-floor.”

The “shop-floor” consisted of wards, single rooms and clinics.

The “key people” initially were each consultant in charge of patients and each ward sister.



The medical staff previously had not given much thought to infection control. They regarded cleanliness, hygiene and maintenance as a nursing / domestic / estates responsibility – in much the same way as they regarded making beds as a nursing / laundry responsibility. In much the same way that they regarded feeding patients at mealtime as a nursing / catering / dietetic responsibility.

And quite right too. These daily activities should not be the responsibility of individual consultants.

They have their own work to do.

However, individual patients are the responsibility of consultants, and so any decisions or actions detrimental to the health of their patients, becomes a concern of each consultant.

Infection control that had been taken for granted but is failing, then moves into the remit of each consultant. Just as patient nutrition, taken for granted but failing, moves into the remit of each consultant.

This is because, at the end of the day, each consultant is an independent medical practitioner and has overall responsibility for each patient in their care.

It is not possible for a consultant to say, “If my patient develops an MRSA infection, because of lack of sinks, lack of hand-washing, lack of environmental hygiene, lack of maintenance, high bed occupancy, high throughput of patients, crammed beds, excessive movement of patients from bed to bed, ward to ward, and hospital to hospital, lack of single rooms, high mobility of staff, over use of agency staff, it is nothing to do with me.”

No. The consultants in charge of patients, no matter how busy they are with their own work, can’t say, “it’s nothing to do with me”

Can they, My Black Cat?

The Witch Doctor – Link to a random page





Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: