Client: Pioneering Training Set to Put Patients First
Knowledge Provider: South Eastern Regional College
Sector: Health and Life Sciences
Pioneering Training Set to Put Patients First
Renowned for working closely with industry, South Eastern Regional College (SERC) has created a unique training partnership with the Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) to help prevent the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease and improve patient safety.
Photo (Back row L to R) Elaine Flynn, SERC Commercial Contracts Manager; Ken Webb, SERC Principal and Chief Executive, Paul Henry, SERC Lead Business Services Manager Front – George McCracken, Head of
As a result of the collaboration with Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, a pioneering Control of Water-borne Infections within Healthcare course, has been developed by SERC in partnership with the Trust. The course is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom and it is hoped that it will be rolled out nationally.
About the Case
The Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, Northern Ireland’s largest employer, identified a need to eliminate the risk of cross-infection from contaminated water systems to patients in their care.
About the Knowledge Provider
SERC utilised Connected’s Knowledge Acquisition and Foresight Activities fund to undergo Legionella & Pseudomonas Train the Trainer training with a renowned Microbiologist, Dr Suzanne Lee. Belfast Trust and SERC worked together to design and create a training course to meet the needs identified incorporating the scientific knowledge required of the microbiology and health effects of water borne bacteria that cause harm to human health along with the prevention and control of the risks associated with the management of water-borne bacteria. Technical content was also included regarding the correct protocols for working on and around water systems within healthcare settings with practical workshop exercises on fault identification. SERC then sought approval from Logic Certification to certificate the pioneering training programme.
To date, 194 employees from 4 Health Trusts in Northern Ireland and 18 businesses which operate in the installation and maintenance of water systems within healthcare environments were trained, with further cohorts planned. As a result of the training, the risk of water borne infections Legionella & Pseudomonas getting into the water systems of health care settings has been greatly reduced and the knowledge of staff in businesses who install and maintain water systems within healthcare to prevent cross contamination has been greatly enhanced.
George McCracken Head of Estates Risk and Environment, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said: “Maintaining good water hygiene in healthcare facilities continues to pose considerable challenges for engineering and clinical staff. It is vital that those designing and working on water systems have the skills and expertise necessary to ensure a safe patient environment. This bespoke training will provide participants with the knowledge needed to reduce the risks posed by water systems and contribute to the delivery of safe and effective patient care.”
SERC Lead Business Services Manager, Paul Henry, said: “SERC is delighted to have worked with the Health and Social Care Trust to develop this pioneering training in legionella control. Having trained, knowledgeable staff is extremely important when controlling the risks associated with legionella bacteria and in meeting the regulatory requirements. This training has provided the Trust with the confidence they need to ensure they are effectively managing the risks associated with Legionella.
“SERC has built up a strong reputation in providing bespoke training packages to help meet the requirements of a wide range of sectors. We want to acknowledge the support which the Connected programme has provided, to enable us to upskill our staff and meet the need identified by Belfast Trust and deliver the upskilling to their maintenance teams and contractors.”