THE trust which runs Andover's hospital has reduced the risk of infection control after implementing improved measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.

A report to Hampshire Hospitals Foundation Trust (HHFT) in March about its risks included the nosocomial spread of Covid-19, which is when the virus is spread inside a hospital.

It stated that if Covid spreads inside hospital “there is a risk of harm to patients and staff and the potential for regulatory action”.

However, the risk of this has been reduced from 16 to 12 because of “improved controls”.

This includes the use of air scrubbers, air quality testing and guidance for staff on ventilating areas regularly.

However, it noted there are still gaps in its controls for preventing the spread of infections, which includes a lack of side rooms, an ageing estate, and maintaining segregation of patients because of “capacity challenges”.

It added: “The risk of nosocomial spread of Covid-19 remains significant following a number of Covid-19 outbreaks and cases of hospital-acquired Covid-19.”

At the time of writing, the trust was caring for 22 patients with Covid – 14 in Basingstoke, eight in Winchester and none in Andover.

As reported in February, the number of patients catching Covid in one of the trust’s hospitals decreased.

A total of 84 people caught the virus in one of HHFT’s hospitals in January, compared to 144 in December.

Last year it was reported that the trust had the highest acquired infection rate of Covid-19 across England, with nearly 40 per cent of its Covid-19 patients catching the virus while being treated for another illness.

Alex Whitfield, chief executive of the trust, said in the report to the board of directors in March: “As cases reduce, we continue to remind everyone to follow all infection prevention and control guidance at home and at work to reduce the risk of transmission.”