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News Archive

27 April 2004


The Winning Team

In a competition designed to recognise the role that infection control professionals play in limiting the spread of bacterial resistance and hospital-acquired infections, the £5,000 first prize in the Oxoid Infection Control Team of the Year Awards, has been awarded to the team at the Northern Lincolnshire & Goole Hospitals NHS Trust.

From a field of nearly 50 entrants, the judges in the Oxoid Infection Control Team of the Year Awards were unanimous in awarding the £5,000 first prize to the Northern Lincolnshire & Goole Hospitals NHS Trust.

"The Northern Lincolnshire & Goole entry cited numerous examples of the positive difference that this team is making" says Dr Mark Wilcox, Clinical Director in charge of Microbiology for The Leeds Teaching Hospitals. "This team is not merely implementing or adhering to standard procedures or mandatory surveillance schemes; they have developed a strategy that is bringing benefits to patients, visitors and staff in minimising the risk of hospital-acquired infections and that also has wider benefits. For example, their Urinary Catheter management project, led to improved knowledge and practices amongst nursing staff and to changes in prescribing policies that reduce the period of time that some patients receive antibiotics. This policy revision has produced substantial costs savings and changes like this can greatly aid the fight against antibiotic resistance."

"We all felt strongly that Northern Lincolnshire & Goole should receive this honour" comments Professor Gary French, Chairman of the Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital Trust Infection Control Committee and Board Member of the International Federation of Infection Control, "the challenges faced in the merger of two hospital trusts, practices initiated (including excellent use of IT for sharing of information and education) and results produced by this small team stand as examples of true excellence in infection control."

Commenting on the team’s win, Dr Peter Cowling, Consultant Microbiologist and Infection Control Doctor at the Northern Lincolnshire & Goole Hospitals, NHS Trust said “We are delighted to receive this award in recognition of the work of our Infection Control team. Recognition such as this motivates us to work in ever more innovative ways within the limited resources allowed to us. We will put the prize money to good use, probably to enable us to carry out a project to demonstrate how improvements in antibiotic prescribing can lead to a reduction in healthcare-associated infections.

Other Prizewinners

The 2nd prize of £1,000 goes to the infection control team at University Hospital, Lewisham (London) for their highly proactive and multi-disciplinary approach. The team at Rotherham General NHS Trust was awarded the 3rd prize of £500; their management of a norovirus outbreak was described by the judges as "an ideal model for others to follow".

In recognition of the extremely high standard of all of the entries to this international competition, the judges wished to make two additional Highly Commended Awards that have been given to West Suffolk Hospitals NHS Trust and to the Clinical Center of Serbia both of whom have made significant achievements in a short period of time.

Impressive Entries

"One of the things that impressed us most was that so many entries demonstrated a truly multi-disciplinary approach by including Infection Control Doctors, Consultant Microbiologists, Infection Control Nurses and Laboratory personnel in their team" says Christine Perry, Chair of the Infection Control Nurses Association, "the sharing of knowledge and education both within the hospital and the wider community was also well demonstrated in many entries."

The judges were also impressed that so many teams, all of whom have increasingly heavy and demanding workloads, were such enthusiastic entrants. Infection control is not a 9 to 5 job, the challenges faced are constant and infection outbreaks are obviously unplanned events that add extra pressures. It was obvious to the judges that many entries must have been prepared in the entrants’ own time.

"The Oxoid Infection Control Team of the Year Awards have been really well supported in this, their first year" says Alison Smith, Marketing Manager, Oxoid Ltd. "We were really impressed with the extremely high quality of the entries. Many teams are clearly providing an exemplary infection control service within their own clinical environments and the wider community. For recently established teams providing hard data was obviously difficult and the judges really want to encourage them to enter the Awards again this year, when they will be able to advise the outcomes of their hard work. The teams that really stood out and who went on to become the winners, were those who not only told us what they were doing, but who substantiated this with facts and figures that showed a lowering of infection rates and improved patient outcomes."

The Oxoid Infection Control Team of the Year Awards winners will receive their prizes at a special Awards Ceremony to be held in June. For more details of the winners, or to register for the 2004/05 Oxoid Infection Control Team of the Year Awards, please contact Val Kane, Awards Co-ordinator, Oxoid Ltd, tel: +44 (0) 1256 841144, fax: +44 (0) 1256 329728 or email:

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