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The Clinical Infection Unit (CIU) provides specialist inpatient and outpatient Infectious Diseases services for the clinical diagnosis and management of adult patients with suspected or proven infections. CIU represents one arm of the newly-established infection care group.

Medical leadership of CIU is delivered by 5 consultant Physicians: Professors Derek Macallan (Clinical lead) and Tom Harrison (Academic lead) and Dr Tihana Bicanic, Catherine Cosgrove and Angela Houston. Nursing leadership is provided by Linda Smith (Matron) and Laura Wells (Sister).

CIU Group Photo

Our specialist interests include HIV-related infections, TB (including multi-drug resistant TB), invasive fungal infections, travel-related medicine and imported infections, pyrexia of unknown origin, and UK-acquired acute and chronic infections.

Most of our patients are admitted as emergency referrals, which can be made 24/7 to CIU General Practitioners, Public Health England, or other hospitals. A substantial proportion of our patients are also referred internally from A&E, acute medicine or other inpatient services.

As an Academic Unit within university teaching hospital, we are members of and work synergistically with the Institute of Infection and Immunity at St George’s, University Of London, to undertake basic and translational research with the aim of improving patient care.

The CIU also runs a number of specialist outpatient clinics for direct referral of patients with non-acute conditions.

Close working collaboration and shared training schemes exist with the Department of Medical Microbiology and Virology, which provides laboratory diagnostic and advisory services.

The inpatient service for HIV-infected patients is run by the CIU in close collaboration with consultants in Genito-Urinary Medicine. Outpatient HIV services are run from the Courtyard Clinic between GUM and CIU.

The CIU provides the inpatient care for patients with known or suspected tuberculosis, and an outpatient service for tuberculosis in collaboration with the Chest Clinic team. Patients with hepatitis B or C are managed in collaboration with the Hepatology service.

CIU participates in SW London networks for HIV, tuberculosis and hepatitis. The CIU also provide specialist care for tropical diseases and care for returning travelers from the tropics with an infectious disease problem.

* Note: Paediatric Infectious Diseases team (based in Child Health) manages children.

In-patient care

Inpatient activity is centred on McEntee Ward (telephone 020 8725 3147/3280), an 18-bedded purpose-built Infectious Diseases isolation ward with 12 single, negative-pressure rooms for containment isolation. Two of the single rooms have HEPA filters for additional infection control and are suitable for the care of patients with drug resistant TB, for which we are a tertiary referral centre.  TB and HIV in-patients are cared for by CIU with input from colleagues in Chest and GU Medicine.  Acutely ill patients are cared for in collaboration with General Neuro and Cardiothoraic Intensive Care Units. McEntee is a purpose-built Infectious Diseases Isolation Ward, all single or double rooms, all under negative pressure, and two rooms having enhanced negative pressure with Hepa filtration.

The facilities are suitable for nursing all routine infectious diseases including tuberculosis (including MDRTB), meningitis, initial isolation of VHF, SARS, avian influenza, etc. In addition the ward provides the focus for the multidisciplinary team to manage a range of non-contagious cases, and the inpatient HIV service. The team also manages patients in isolation elsewhere in the hospital, and on other wards if beds are unavailable on McEntee.

Out-patient care

Urgent new cases not requiring emergency admission can generally be seen within a few days if a referral is faxed or telephoned through to the CIU office. Alternatively the unit has Choose and Book slots, and accepts standard referral letters (which can be addressed to individual consultants or to the “Clinical Infection Unit”). The CIU directly accepts outpatient new referrals from A&E according to an agreed protocol.

The unit is a leading UK centre for training of doctors in infectious diseases including Specialist Registrars in Infectious Diseases, HIV Medicine and Medical Microbiology, and ST1/2 doctors training in General Medicine.

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