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Catheter pilot scheme sees infections fall by 100%


A pilot scheme to reduce infections following catheter insertions has shown a 100% fall within a hospital trust.

NHS Supply Chain is now encouraging acute trusts in England to take advantage of the scheme which has shown to not only reduce infection rates but shorten patient length of stay and save clinicians’ time.

Catheter associated urinary tract infections (CAUTIs) are not uncommon and can cause patients significant pain, discomfort, confusion and anxiety for family and friends. They further impact healthcare with increased antibiotic use, prolonged hospital stays, increased clinical activity and risk of complaints and litigation. 

University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust had audited its urethral catheterisation practice, and the way catheterised patients w19 July ere cared for in clinical areas. The audit highlighted a wide variation in care delivery leading to inconsistent outcomes for patients and staff.

After reviewing the available options, the University Hospitals of North Midlands NHS Trust decided to pilot the BARD® Tray which contains all the essential items to catheterise or re-catheterise a patient in one pack and includes the catheter with a pre-connected urine drainage bag. This unique ‘closed system’ prevents ingress of bacteria and helps avoid catheter related infection. 

NHS Supply Chain: Rehabilitation, Disabled Services, Women’s Health and Associated Consumables worked alongside supplier Beckton Dickinson to provide the tray products required by the trust.

During the three-month pilot, catheter related infection rates fell by 100% at the trust which coincided with a reduction in complaints and a reduced length of hospital stay for patients. Clinicians reported that the pack was intuitive and saved around five minutes per catheterisation, which during the pilot process meant saving 83 hours from 1,000 catheterisation procedures.

While the BARD® Tray was more expensive than the individual components that were currently purchased, the pilot study demonstrated the clinical and financial value that was delivered by the tray being implemented across an organisation. The overall cost of components is slightly cheaper, but due to reduced catheterisations, consumables spend fell by 24%.

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Source: NHS Supply Chain, 19 July 2022

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