Professionals come together to tackle infection control

In the context of the recent update to British Standard (BS) 8580-2: Risk assessments for Pseudomonas aeruginosa and other waterborne pathogens, Armitage Shanks recently brought together in London experts from across the healthcare sector to discuss what the changes mean in practice, and the role of the multidisciplinary team in preventing and responding to waterborne pathogens. Anil Madan, UK Non Residential Marketing manager for Ideal Standard and Armitage Shanks, reports.

The event, held at Armitage Shanks’ London Specification and Design Centre in Clerkenwell, fostered open discussion on the realities of water safety. The impact of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs) is significant, and the numbers speak for themselves: millions of occupied hospital bed days and a cost to the NHS measured in billions.1 That’s before you consider the harm and distress caused to patients, many of whom are already seriously ill. The contribution of waterborne pathogens to this burden is significant, and will undoubtedly increase as accelerating antibiotic resistance supercharges them against efforts to treat resulting infections. 

Water supply systems used in healthcare settings are vast, cover entire hospital estates, and supply water in numerous different settings. This is a complex environment, which has the potential to create a paradise of temperature and moisture conditions for these pathogens if not managed correctly. The risk of pathogens entering the system not only stems from the physical breadth of the pipe networks – there are multiple points of risk along every access point, water outlet, and drain – but also from the system’s manufacturing, testing, installation, and maintenance. This puts a burden of responsibility on healthcare professionals to ensure proactive water safety, and also anyone who has contact with the water supply system – including manufacturers, engineers, construction managers, and cleaning and maintenance workers.

Setting the standard – BS 8580-2

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