Kidney awareness campaign cuts care home infections

A NHS kidney awareness campaign has helped cut the rate of infection at a Birmingham care home.

Boldmere Court was one of 45 care homes to take part in the national trial of the ThinkKidneys campaign.

Since the NHS training, Boldmere Court has seen the number of urinary tract infections in its dementia unit fall from 10 to one over a period of eight weeks. There were zero hospital admissions for acute kidney injury in that time.

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Operations director, Kerry Jackson, of Boldmere Court in Birmingham, said: “Our staff received training from the ThinkKidneys team in July 2016. As a result we introduced a range of improvements. We now have dedicated drinks champions whose role it is to encourage residents to drink at least two litres of fluid a day. We have also introduced jellies, ice cream and yoghurts, which provide an alternative way of increasing the fluid intake for residents. We encourage our residents to make their own jellies and ice creams alongside the drinks champion and our activities officer.

“Families, too, have been told about the benefits for residents of these foodstuffs and have begun to bring these in as an alternative to chocolates or other treats. We have stickers on each resident’s door showing what they like and don’t like in terms of fluids so that agency staff are aware. We now use the education resource pack to deliver our own in-house training to staff.”

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