Oxford Academic Health Science Network Patient Safety Collaborative and East Berkshire Clinical Commissioning Group: Reducing urinary tract infections through hydration

Analysis showed that certain care homes in the Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead CCG area had above average hospital admissions for urinary tract infections.

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Further investigation showed staff in the homes were relying on non-clinical signs to diagnose UTIs and not always following relevant guidance.

So in July 2016, a project was launched that aimed to improve the correct diagnosis of UTIs, as well as reducing the number of infections by improving hydration in nursing and residential homes.

Hydration training was introduced for both staff and residents; structured drinks rounds created; and a poster developed detailing the importance of hydration and signs of a UTI.

Some residents were involved in designing drinks rounds trolleys, helping to choose which drinks to introduce. The rounds are said to have become a highlight for residents and an important socialising point.

Since the project began, the incidence of UTIs has reduced from one every 13 days to one every 47 days. One residential home has been UTI free for 230 days. The project has now been rolled out to a further nine care homes in East Berkshire and Oxfordshire, with other CCGs and providers across the country expressing interest in replicating the work.

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