Pioneering training at SERC

Elaine Flynn, SERC Commercial Contracts Manager, SERC principal Ken Webb, tutor Paul Henry and George McCracken Head of Estates Risk and Environment, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.
Elaine Flynn, SERC Commercial Contracts Manager, SERC principal Ken Webb, tutor Paul Henry and George McCracken Head of Estates Risk and Environment, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Lisburn based South Eastern Regional College (SERC) has created a unique training partnership with the Health and Social Care Trust (HSCT) to help prevent the outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease and improve patient safety.

As a result of the collaboration, a pioneering Control of Water-borne Infections within Healthcare course, has been developed by SERC in partnership with the Trust.

The course is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom and it is hoped that it will be rolled out nationally.

The course has been designed to upskill operatives who need to have an understanding of water hygiene and the measures necessary to manage it within hospitals and healthcare environments such as plumbing installers, heating technicians, design engineers, as well as staff responsible for infection control and water treatment.

Candidates will be required to complete theory and practical-based assessments over one-day. The training covers the management of water hygiene, the control measures that should be in place and how organisations can stay compliant with the updated Health and Safety Executive (HSE) Approved Code of Practice and the Department of Health’s Healthcare Technical Memorandum 04-01.

On completion of the training participants will feel empowered about how to apply good working practices within their daily duties.

George McCracken Head of Estates Risk and Environment, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust said: “Maintaining good water hygiene in healthcare facilities continues to pose considerable challenges for engineering and clinical staff.

“It is vital that those designing and working on water systems have the skills and expertise necessary to ensure a safe patient environment. This bespoke training will provide participants with the knowledge needed to reduce the risks posed by water systems and contribute to the delivery of safe and effective patient care.”

SERC Commercial Contracts Manager Elaine Flynn said: “SERC is delighted to have worked with the Health and Social Care Trust to develop this pioneering training in legionella control. Having trained, knowledgeable staff is extremely important when controlling the risks associated with legionella bacteria and in meeting the regulatory requirements.”

Successful course completion will lead to a certificate of competence and ID card from Logic Certification.