COVID-19: New infection prevention and control safety officers introduced at Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale hospitals

IPC Safety Officer
COVID-19: New infection prevention and control safety officers introduced at Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale hospitals
05 August 2020

THE Northern Care Alliance NHS Group (NCA) has introduced pioneering new infection prevention and control safety officers at its hospitals in Salford, Oldham, Bury and Rochdale in a bid to keep its hospitals and community services safe from COVID-19.

These new recruits, believed to be the first in the country, will ensure that the NCA’s wards, corridors, public areas, office spaces and community settings are supported and that our public, patients, visitors and staff adhere to the hospital group’s stringent infection prevention policies, designed to keep COVID-19 infection rates under control.

The NCA has recruited 24 new infection prevention and control safety officers with 12 staff already in post and another 12 due to start working in the next few weeks. Recruits include a former airline steward and ex staff from the Greater Manchester Nightingale Hospital, as well as employees from other sectors where safety has been a key requirement of their role.

36 year old Mark O`Leary, furloughed cabin crew, Virgin Atlantic Airways, based at Manchester airport, has been recruited as the infection prevention and control safety officer at The Royal Oldham Hospital. He said:

“It’s a great honour to be one of the first of a new breed of hospital infection prevention and control safety officers. I am excited to be using my background in safety, all be it in a different sector, to help fight covid and keep hospitals safe for patients, staff and the public. I have seen first-hand how devastating covid can be and I am proud to be helping the fight against it.”

Dr Chris Brookes, Chief Medical Officer, Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director for Infection Prevention Control, at the Northern Care Alliance NHS Group said:

“I would like to extend a very warm welcome to the 24 new infection prevention and control safety officers who have joined our Northern Care Alliance NHS hospital group recently; these people have an important role to play in keeping our hospitals and community services infection free, which is especially important in the run up to our busy winter period.”

The new infection prevention and control safety officers will dedicate their efforts to supporting a number of important areas, including helping doctors, nurses and other clinical teams to put on and take off their PPE (donning/doffing) correctly and safely, and assisting with other infection prevention and control measures designed to reduce the risk of COVID-19.

They will also act as ambassadors for the NCA’s official guidance around infection prevention and control, helping others to understand what this is and why it is necessary.

The new recruits will also advise staff around hand washing, environmental cleanliness, support social distancing, and the correct use of face masks and coverings, which is mandatory on NCA premises.  

Members of the public and staff will easily be able to spot the new infection prevention and control officers as they will be wearing an NHS uniform and a high visibility jacket. On approach they will be more than happy to help support and advise the public and patients on our hospital sites.

Pictured: Mark O`Leary, furloughed cabin crew, Virgin Atlantic Airways, based at Manchester airport, has been recruited as the infection prevention and control safety officer at The Royal Oldham Hospital