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SHA experts lead new infection control strategy

Brad McEntee leads permanent taskforce to reduce hospital acquired infections.

A team of staff joyfully pose for a group photo.
SydneyConnect Image: Brad McEntee leads permanent taskforce to reduce hospital acquired infections​​

Sydney Local Health District has embedded a permanent Infection and Prevention Control Taskforce across its facilities, with the aim of substantially reducing hospital-acquired infections.

The 22-strong team of infection prevention and control specialists will provide on-the-spot expert advice for frontline staff, education and training to strengthen existing practices and to help keep staff, patients, their families and the community safe.

Nurse Manager Brad McEntee, who led a team of nurses who specialised in infection prevention and control at Special Health Accommodation, heads the taskforce.

"It's about how we can collaborate with clinicians and staff and facilitate District-wide learnings. 'How can we translate the knowledge that we've learnt from the Special Health Accommodation into everyday practice?'" he said.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Special Health Accommodation provided 24/7 comprehensive care for returning overseas travellers and members of the community, who were required to undertake mandatory supervised quarantine.

In his role at Special Health Accommodation, Brad reviewed infection prevention and control policies and procedures, with his team completing more than 12,500 audits including more than 2,400 personal protective equipment audits and more than 2,400 hand hygiene audits.

He also worked with the State Health Emergency Operations Centre and the NSW Ministry of Health, to implement risk mitigation strategies at Sydney Airport and police-run quarantine hotels.

In his new role as leader of the Infection and Prevention Control Taskforce, he'll collaborate with clinicians on ways to reduce the likelihood of disease transmission, boost staff education and training and deliver on-the-ground outbreak management assistance.

"Brad and his team of Infection Prevention and Control professionals made a key contribution to the Special Health Accommodation throughout our District's ongoing response to the pandemic," Dr Andrew Hallahan, the District's Executive Director Medical Services, Clinical Governance and Risk, said.

"As we continue to work and live with COVID-19, the permanent taskforce will provide support for staff across our District ensuring we're are able to continue to deliver the best possible care for our patients, their families and our community."

The taskforce's work may influence the approaches taken to implementing infection and control requirements nationwide.

"The Taskforce will be leading resource to drive education and collaborative clinical research across the District with real potential to inform hospital practice nationally going forward," Dr Erica Heppleston, the District's Clinical Quality Manager, said.