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‘We need to learn from infection control in nursing homes around the world’

How a travel scholarship project may help reduce NHS costs related to unplanned admissions

How a travel scholarship project may help reduce NHS costs related to unplanned admissions


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A nurse researcher plans to investigate how infections in nursing homes are tackled around the world, after being awarded a Florence Nightingale Foundation travel scholarship.

The award, which is sponsored by the RCN Foundation, will enable University of Surrey reader in long-term conditions Nicola Carey to travel to three continents for her research.

Job-shadowing around the world

Dr Carey will visit nursing homes in the United States, the Netherlands and Australia and job-shadow practitioners to learn more about their policies and practices in detecting infections.


Nicola Carey will meet staff in the 
US, the Netherlands and Australia.

She will also meet staff and teams leading innovative approaches to research in this area and developing new models of care.

Dr Carey said: ‘Improving the early detection of infection in nursing homes in the UK is a major concern, as not only does it impact the health of residents, it removes an enormous burden on an already overstretched NHS.

‘We need to look to other countries and learn from their best practices.’

What other health systems do well

Evidence shows that nursing home residents are at increased risk of infection, often resulting in unplanned hospital admissions and clinical complications.

The University of Surrey said that each year unplanned hospital admissions cost the NHS an estimated £11 billion and account for more than a third of all admissions. 

This project aims to help enable the successful adoption and implementation of methods used in other health systems to identify infections.

Head of the university’s school of health sciences Melaine Coward said: ‘This scholarship provides an exciting opportunity to improve the way infection is detected and managed in nursing homes.

‘This is a necessity, given our changing population with its complex health and social care needs.’


Further information

The Florence Nightingale Foundation travel scholarship


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