Nurse wheeling an elderly patient into hospital depicting a hospital admission

Urinary tract infection: NHS launches new awareness campaign to reduce hospital admissions ahead of winter

NHS England has joined forces with the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) to launch a new awareness campaign on urinary tract infections (UTIs), as new data shows they have led to almost one million hospital admissions in the last five years.

The joint venture will include a range of resources being shared with local NHS settings, charities, royal colleges, care homes, and other relevant organisations as part of the drive.

New research shows that, while the last five years have seen 800,000 hospital admissions directly because of UTIs, they have been involved in around a million more.

UKHSA’s deputy director for antimicrobial resistance, Dr Colin Brown, commented: “UTIs are incredibly common and while most people can manage their infection at home with painkillers and plenty of fluids, some do go on to develop much more serious complications, such as kidney or bloodstream infections that need hospital treatment.”

The campaign, which comes just prior to international infection prevention week, has been launched ahead of what is expected to be another busy winter for the NHS.

Last year’s festive period was a record-breaking one in terms of demand and health leaders are anticipating more of the same.

This time last month saw clinical leaders and healthcare experts join government officials at a winter roundtable to discuss how the NHS can plan for the work ahead. Shortly after, a £200m resilience package was announced to help further cut waiting lists and ensure patients get the care they need.

However, some health leaders questioned how effective the investment would be considering the ongoing industrial action and the fact it was rolled out so close to winter.

Chief executive of the NHS Confederation, Matthew Taylor, said at the time: “The risk is that this money is simply absorbed to cover existing and escalating costs elsewhere, with patients seeing little benefit in terms of day-to-day care, waiting lists or performance.”

National Health Executive spoke to NICE’s former chair, Sir David Haslam, about the NHS winter pressures – click here to listen to the latest podcast.

Image credit: iStock

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