COVID-19 Nosocomial Review Group minutes: 14 August 2020

Minutes from the meeting of the Nosocomial Review Group, held on 14 August 2020.

Items and actions

1. No new COVID clusters/ outbreaks have been reported in over 3 weeks, however NHS Boards are reporting single sporadic cases via the ARHAI HIIAT reporting system. Validated data is being published weekly now and is three weeks in arrears of the week reported.

2. Current data collection methods for the clusters and outbreaks are undergoing a review. A further lessons learned exercise with the ICMs is planned before winter. An aide memoir will be produced from this.

3. Due to the limitations and small numbers of the COVID -19 HAI data, it was agreed that a quarterly report would be published with the 28 day cause mortality data, as opposed to weekly publication. First publication has been set for the 26 August. Data is restricted to confirmed hospital sample confirmation with a date of death within 28 days. Data is high level and descriptive, will be adjusted for age and sex however comorbidity data are not available and important these are communicated as deaths in those with a defined HAI, i.e. not attributable to the HAI.

4. The CNRG discussed the new UK IPC guidance and implementation within NHS Scotland as it remobilised. The need for considered pathways was noted and impact these have relative to testing strategies.

5. The group also noted the publication of the Scottish Government Primary Care Directorate Letter REMOBILISATION OF AGPs in NHS DENTAL SERVICES from Chief Dental Officer, and the UK-wide joint SBAR Ventilation, water and environmental cleaning in dental surgeries relating to COVID-19.  SG have sent a Director letter to dental practices in Scotland regarding ventilation for aerosol generating procedures (AGPs). Similar guidance documents for theatre and endoscopy will be published shortly.

6. Progress on better understanding healthcare worker testing needs was discussed and confirmation that the funding for the SIREN study has been granted and a confirmation letter has been sent out. Inclusion criteria and sampling groups have been agreed – patients facing HCWs in secondary care. NHS Boards have been given quotas for sampling and for the types of professional groups.

7. Study is for 6 months and the first report is due in October 2020 (final date TBC). Scotland to scope out additional specific objectives. Volunteers for the study will be sought during September 2020 when recruitment will be undertaken.

8. CNO has expressed preference that CNRG continues to convene through the winter months in case of a surge in cases. Chair asked members about the frequency of the meeting and whether it was kept to a 2 weekly meeting or to move to a monthly. Group members confirmed their preference was to continue with meeting fortnightly with the acknowledgement that the frequency may be scaled up or down.  Consideration could be given to whether it could be for one hour rather than 2.

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