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Preventing and Treating Urinary Tract Infections – avoiding admissions

Each month The Good Care Group reviews and analyses our client incident activity in order to understand the greatest risks facing our clients, and to develop strategies for management of these risks. We have recently focused on the proactive management of urine infections with the aim of speeding up the diagnosis process. We know that urinary tract infections (UTI) are one of the leading causes of hospital admission for our clients. Anything we can do to either avoid a UTI developing, or to identify and treat it sooner, will help ensure our clients stay well and avoid unnecessary trips to hospital.

The elderly are more likely than any other age group to contract urine infections and the consequences can be far more serious than in someone without other health concerns.

We have invested in additional training for all care teams ensuring that carers are aware of the signs and symptoms of UTI and know to raise the alarm with the GP immediately. We have seen a marked increase in the number of UTIs reported as a result of this work. However, we have seen a significant reduction in the percentage of UTIs which results in an admission – demonstrating that we are now spotting and treating UTI more quickly at home.

Our urinalysis project will see urine testing kits in each of our placements. The test is designed to highlight the markers of urine infections for earlier diagnosis. Each of our professional carers now receives training and guidance on how to test a urine sample. The carers will not be able to diagnosis urine infections but will be able to use the dipstick test to provide the GP with clear information about any pathological changes showing in the urine.

We rolled out the first phase of the project in March, beginning with a small pilot group. Following some initial learnings we are now over half way through the full roll out and are on track to have testing kits in all placements within the company by the end of the year. To date the project has seen very positive results, we had 30% less urine infections in July than in the previous two months. In the first half of 2017 we have only had 2 hospital admissions for UTI across the whole company – a marked decrease from 2016.

Zoe Elkins - Head of Care Strategy