Trust joins forces to reduce infections for patients having hip and knee replacement surgery

Posted on: Monday 24 Sep 2018

Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust has joined forces with 30 organisations across the NHS to reduce infections from MSSA for patients having hip and knee replacement surgery.

This unique collaborative, called QIST (Quality Improvement for Surgical Teams), will drive forward improvements for patients by ‘scaling up’ interventions, such as screening and the use of bodywash and nasal gel treatments for patients carrying the bug, to reduce infections and save lives.

MSSA is a common cause of infection in joint replacement surgery. Research has shown that interventions – such as decolonisation using nasal gel and body washes – can reduce the risk of infection from MSSA by 60 per cent in some cases.

These interventions have already been tested by Northumbria Healthcare which has adapted a MSSA ‘care bundle’ or ‘checklist’ to meet the needs of patients having joint replacement surgery. Before and after data for the 9,000 patients cared for at the trust shows that a real difference is being made.

Mr David Duffy, Orthopaedic Consultant and Lead Surgeon for QIST at Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are delighted to be part of this unique programme which will help us to improve care for our patients and support further adoption across the NHS so many more patients can benefit in the future too.

“If, through this collaborative, we can prevent even just one infection – which can be devastating and life changing for any patient and their loved ones – that will be fantastic. By joining forces and working collaboratively I am confident that being part of this project will benefit far more patients than that, and beyond our local area too.”

Clinical director for trauma and orthopaedics at Northumbria Healthcare and chief investigator for the QIST infection collaborative Professor Mike Reed said: “The overall ambition of this collaborative is to prove the case we can successfully introduce these interventions and improve care for patients having joint replacement surgery so that they become routine clinical practice across the NHS. By joining forces and sharing best practice, I strongly believe we can make a real difference to patients across the NHS.”

The project is part of the Quality Improvement in Surgical Teams (QIST) collaborative which was established by Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in 2013. QIST infection is a partnership between Northumbria Healthcare, British Orthopaedic Association, University of York trials unit and NHS Improvement.


For further information please contact:

Paul Widdowfield, Communications and Marketing Manager, [email protected] and 01423 557470.

Notes to editors

  • The QIST collaborative has been shortlisted for a prestigious 2018 HSJ award in the acute sector innovation category.
  • Meticillin Sensitive Staphylococcus Auerus (MSSA): MSSA is a type of bacteria (germ) which lives harmlessly on the skin and in the noses, in about one third of people. People who have MSSA on their bodies or in their noses are said to be colonised. However MSSA colonisation usually causes them no problems, but can cause an infection when it gets the opportunity to enter the body. MSSA can cause serious infections called septicaemia (blood poisoning) where it gets into the bloodstream.