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Our Infection Prevention and Control Team (IPC) is here to help, educate and signpost. Please feel free to stop us when we are out and about on the wards or you can reach us by email: Infection.ControlTeam@merseycare.nhs.uk or by phone: 0151 295 3036 .

Our IPC team covers Southport and Formby, South Sefton, St Helens, Knowsley, Liverpool Warrington, and Halton. The IPC team are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm, excluding bank holidays.


Influenza is an acute viral infection of the respiratory tract.  Influenza is highly infectious with a usual incubation period of one to three days. Flu is easily spread to other people. You're more likely to give it to others in the first five days.

The risk of serious illness from influenza is higher in people with low immunity.

Transmission is by droplets, aerosol, or through direct contact, spread by germs from coughs and sneezes, which can live on hands and surfaces for 24 hours.

To reduce the risk of spreading flu:

  • Wash your hands often with warm water and soap
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze (if you do not have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the bend of your elbow, not into your hand) bin used tissues as quickly as possible
  • Stay at home and avoid contact with other people if you have a high temperature or you do not feel well enough to do your normal activities.   

Find out more in the attached policy.   


Flu viruses can change year on year. Consequently, vaccines are made each year to provide protection against the flu viruses that are predicted to circulate, and therefore the vaccine needs to be given on an annual basis.

Find out more about our COVID-19 and flu campaign on YourSpace. Book your vaccines today!

How effective is the flu vaccine?

The flu vaccine will help prevent you getting flu and is your best protection against the virus. It will not stop all flu viruses but if you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely to be milder and shorter-lived than it would otherwise have been. It takes between 10 and 14 days for your immune system to respond fully after you’ve had the flu jab.

IPC Link Practitioners

IPC have relaunched the IPC link practitioner role now known as IPC Champions.

Any further interest in this role please speak with your line manager, contact the IPC team if further information required: Infection.ControlTeam@merseycare.nhs.uk

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Secondment opportunity within the Infection Prevention and Control Team

IPC Band 6 secondment Opportunity

An exciting development opportunity has come up within the Trust IPC team. The IPCT are looking for 2 candidates to join the team for an 18-month secondment.

The successful candidates will work with the IPC team to prevent and control health care associated infections for service users, carers, staff and visitors to the Trust and we work with all Trust staff and in partnership with other local NHS trusts, non-NHS bodies, the local authorities, and the public to achieve this.

If interested, please contact:

Gillian Verdin- gillian.verdin@merseycare.nhs.uk

Moira Brown- moira.brown@merseycare.nhs.uk


Bare Below the Elbow (BBE)

Bare below the elbows is a term used to how staff should present themselves when in a clinical environment. This reduces the risk of infection and increases effective handwashing.

To be compliant with bare below the elbow in line with the Uniform and work ware attire policy staff should:

  • Wear short sleeves
  • Remove hand and wrist jewellery
  • Ensure fingernails are short and natural- no false nails
  • Ensure nails are free from nail varnish
  • Cover cuts and abrasions with waterproof dressings.

What does it look like?

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The Facts

Staff not adhering to BBE are more likely to carry harmful bacteria and viruses under artificial nails, around and under watches and in stoned rings and on cuffs of long sleeved garments, which then are easily transferred to patients, themselves or other colleagues

  • Cuffs become heavily contaminated with Staphylococcus aureus inclusive of MRSA and are more likely to come into contact with patients.

(Treakle, 2009).

  • Healthcare workers who wear artificial nails are more likely to harbour Gram- Negative pathogens such as E. Coli on their fingertips. (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2009).
  • Rings and watches are known to be associated with high numbers of bacteria on the hands and wrists (Salisbury ,1997)
  • Bare below the elbow is supported globally, nationally and within local policy

Why is it so important?

Our patients may be more vulnerable to infection than the general population Bare below the elbow, helps with effective hand washing, which in turn helps to reduce the spread of infection.

Key points:

  • Enables staff to wash their hands and wrists thoroughly
  • Reduces the transmission of infection
  • In the United Kingdom, improving hand hygiene in health-care settings can help prevent more than 1 300 deaths annually between 2015 and 2050
  • Helps to keep our patients safe
  • Keeps yourself and other staff safe.


Measles and you! 

measles.jpgUKHSA Northwest Health Protection Team has recently identified a very small number of confirmed measles cases in the Greater Manchester area.

How we can assist: ensuring staff remain vigilant for possible cases, ensure anyone who presents at a health care setting is isolated appropriately at the earliest opportunity and MMR vaccination is arranged when appropriate.

Measles is a highly infectious viral infection. Symptoms include a runny nose; cough; conjunctivitis (sore, itchy, watery, red and sticky eyes); high fever; rash (maculopapular); generally very unwell. The spots of the measles rash are sometimes raised and join together to form blotchy patches. The rash starts on the face and behind the ears before spreading to the rest of the body. The incubation period is between 10 to 12 days but can vary from 7 to 21 days.

For additional information please see link Measles                        

Community Care Division update


Community Care Division Infection Prevention and Control - self audit schedule

Well done to all Trust Link Practitioners 

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Congratulations to all our successfully appointed Infection Prevention and Control Practitioners. Any further interest in this role or IPC enquires please contact Infection.ControlTeam@merseycare.nhs.uk 

I SPY Escherichia Coli (E. coli)

E. coli can be found in your gut. It lives there without causing any problems as part of your normal bowel bugs. E.coli can be problematic  when it is found in areas where it shouldn’t be e.g. – Urinary catheter site, wound site, or invasive device site.


Good IPC practices can minimise the risk of E.coli BSI. These include:

  • Aseptic
  • Compliance with policy and procedures   
    • Urinary catheter care
    • Invasive device care
  • Hand hygiene
  • Environmental decontamination  
  • Staff and patient education

Break the E.coli chain: Delivery of safe practice at every patient intervention for device & procedures to prevent E.coli bacteraemia