Award-winning project helps reduce hospital admissions in over 65s
A group of local health partners have been acknowledged on the national stage for their collaborative work which helped reduce hospital admissions in over 65s.
Staff from Wirral Council’s Health Protection Service, Wirral Community Health & Care Foundation Trust, Wirral University Teaching Hospital (WUTH) and Wirral Place received the Impact Award for Excellence at a ceremony held by independent charity The Infection Prevention Society in October 2023.
The award was given to the team for a partnership project particularly focusing on the treatment of Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) and hydration in older people – reducing avoidable hospital admissions in this vulnerable group in the process.
Cllr Janette Williamson, Chair of Wirral’s Adult Social Care and Public Health committee, said:
This is a great example of how building relationships with our communities and strengthening bonds with our partners can have a real impact on residents and in some cases, be life-changing.
In 2022-23, Wirral was among the highest rates in England of prescribing antibiotics for, and hospital admissions related to, UTIs, in the age 70 and over population. This highlighted a particular need to prevent infections in this vulnerable age group. The answer? Hydration.
Together, partners worked to develop awareness training on the importance of hydration to prevent UTIs, alongside assessment tools for those who work with and care for older people, along with posters and leaflets.
They then delivered the training to community organisations, day centres, domiciliary care providers and care homes and other individuals who work with older people in how to encourage hydration and prevent hospitalisation.
The team also linked in with the voluntary, community and faith (VCF) sector, local falls prevention service and Active Wirral leisure service to support their preventative work on improving hydration in the community.
Since the start of the project in June 2022, hospital admissions for UTIs in Wirral are down by an average of 17% compared with the previous year (22% in those aged 65+).
There has also been a considerable reduction in local antibiotic prescribing related to Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) in those aged 70+ years.
More information about health protection and the Wirral Health Protection Strategy can be found via the Wirral Intelligence Service website.
The Infection Prevention Society is an independent charity with a 2,000 strong member network. Their vision is to be a leading influence on reducing preventable infection at a local, national and international level by 2024.