Lilian Chiwera is an independent Surgical Site Infection (SSI) surveillance & prevention expert with experience setting up and coordinating a very successful SSI surveillance service at Guys & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (GSTT) from 2009 – 2022. Passionate about improving patient safety and experience. Worked in Digital Transformation at Darent Valley Hospital from March 2022 – December 2022 where she explored how best infection prevention and SSI prevention can be aligned with current digital transformation agendas. Lilian is currently an Infection Control Matron at Sherwood Forest NHS Trust where she is hoping to explore SSI surveillance and prevention and allied IPC policy implementation at a District General Hospital. This experience will consolidate prior SSI/IPC experience at a large acute Trust and will give her an opportunity to fully support IPC/SSI surveillance and prevention work in the UK and globally.
Our new SSI Prevention Initiatives Group (SSIPIG) has an ambition to achieve:
- Visibility and activism around SSI prevention
- Improved uptake of evidence-based SSI prevention recommendations in all settings
- Dedicated and delegated responsibility for SSI prevention implementation science in every healthcare organisation
- Overall reduction in avoidable surgery related harm (antimicrobial resistance, surgical site infection, climate damage, poor patient outcomes couple with increased healthcare costs) year on year
Key objectives of the SSIPIG are:
- To establish and sustain an annual SSI Prevention Day or week.
- To develop and introduce annual regulatory style SSI Prevention Inspection tools that will be utilised to appraise implementation of evidence-based SSI prevention measures. Results from these inspections will be fed back to regulatory organisations, Senior Country Nursing Officers (SCNO), Senior Country Medical Officers (SCMO) and responsible health ministers or politicians prior to the annual SSIPD and then fed back to the public during the annual SSIPD campaigns.
- To develop and sustain an SSI champion model at local hospital, regional and country level that encompasses a variety of healthcare professionals and consumers of healthcare. The SSIPIG will make provision for kind, caring and compassionate individuals to champion SSI prevention in their healthcare facilities by facilitating their training and development using accredited SSI modules or courses. Dedicated champions will facilitate implementation of a & b above.