NHS Somerset CCG is fully committed to the prevention of Health Care Associated Infections (HCAI’s) and to ensuring compliance with the Health Act (2008) code of practice for the prevention and control of healthcare associated infection (DH, 2008) across all commissioned and provided services.
Infection prevention and control is everyone’s responsibility and to support this approach, the Infection Prevention & Control (IP&C) team for Somerset CCG work collaboratively with teams in each of the acute trusts, Somerset Partnership and with general practitioners and primary care staff across the county. Advice and support is available to all healthcare staff including dentists, podiatrist, optometrists and other allied staff.
Patient and Public Involvement (PPI) is positively encouraged and the Somerset infection control team have actively participated in public awareness sessions and patient information forums.
Colds, sore throats, flu
Colds - to ease the symptoms of a cold, drink plenty of fluids and try to rest. Steam inhalation and vapour rubs can also help. Prevent colds from spreading by washing your hands thoroughly, cleaning surfaces regularly and always sneeze and cough into tissues, throwing them away after use.
Find out more about treating colds
Sore throats - a sore throat is almost always caused by a viral infection, such as a cold. Try not to eat or drink anything that's too hot, as this could further irritate your throat; cool or warm drinks and cool, soft foods should go down easier. Your pharmacist can advise on treatments to alleviate sore throats.
Find out more about treating sore throats
Flu - if you're 65 or over, have a long-term health condition such as diabetes or kidney disease, flu can be life-threatening, so it's important to seek help early. However, if you're generally fit and healthy, the best treatment is to rest, stay warm and drink plenty of water. You can also take paracetamol for any aches, pains or fever.
Find out more about treating flu
Norovirus and other gastrointestinal infections
Norovirus is also known as the winter vomiting bug, although it can cause diarrhoea too. The main thing to do is to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration. You can also take paracetamol for any aches, pains or fever.
Norovirus can be very unpleasant but it usually clears up within a few days. You can normally look after yourself or your child at home. Try to avoid going to your GP, as norovirus can spread to others very easily. Also it is wise to avoid visiting others in hospital or care homes if you have gastrointestinal illness. Call your GP or NHS 111 if you're concerned or need any advice.
For more information visit NHS Choices
Information relating to infection rates in hospitals within Somerset can be found on the Health Protection Agency website. Somerset has a record of significantly reducing its infection rates across the whole healthcare economy. Further information can be found on the following links:
Health Protection Agency
Department of Health
Care Quality Commission
Health Infection Society
Infection Prevention Society
For further information contact:
Somerset CCG Infection Prevention and Control Team on 01935 384184/5060 for commissioning services
Maggie Bradfield, Senior Infection Control Nurse, and Sarah Justice, Infection Control Administrator (GP surgeries, practice nurses)
Jacqui Cross - Somerset CCG Infection Control Nurse for care homes
Follow this link to the Norovirus And Other Current Restrictions page
Health Professionals follow this link to the Clinical Zone and Staff Area