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Policy Statement NHS Kirklees will, in accordance with the Health Act, 2006 and the Health and Social Care Act 2008, ensure that outbreaks of infections within Kirklees are: • • •

identified immediately managed in order to contain and prevent further spread to other susceptible persons/areas and reoccurrence of the infection that all staff members involved in an outbreak will have a clear understanding of their roles, procedures and responsibilities

1. Introduction The aim of the following policy is to identify suspected outbreaks of infection, investigate and implement containment measures that control and contain the infection to prevent spread to other areas An outbreak can be defined as: two or more related cases of an infective disease. 2. Acute/minor outbreaks Are those that lead to a sudden increase in the number of people with symptoms and non-acute outbreaks are those that develop over a number of days or weeks. The infection prevention and control team in conjunction with the ward manager/head of service, will manage this type of outbreak 3. Major outbreak Generally this is characterised by similar clinical signs and symptoms affecting a significant number of people (e.g. 10 or more patients and or staff) in one unit, ward or home. However an infection may be considered major either due to the number of cases or because of the seriousness of the disease. Please note that the infection prevention and control team will manage acute/minor outbreaks. Where there is a significant outbreak, the outbreak team will become involved and the major incident plan may be implemented. The infection prevention and control team will initiate this action in conjunction with the Director of Infection Prevention and Control. Infection prevention and control must be integrated into each and every aspect of caring for patients. Microscopic infections, either viral or bacterial may affect a small amount of people at the beginning of a potential outbreak, but if not managed efficiently and effectively, the outbreak may escalate into a major outbreak. It is therefore imperative that all staff remain vigilant in identifying potential sources of infections and they must remain rigorous in the management of infected patients.