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Hospital Healthcare Europe

Hospital visitors have to help beat HAIs


18 December, 2007  

A campaign to promote handwashing among the public has been launched in the UK as part of a Government-sponsored bid to fight resistant pathogens.

The prevalence of resistant pathogens like MRSA and Clostridium difficile has seen UK hospitals adopt new cleaning policies – such as “deep cleaning” – to make sure wards do not harbour diseases.

But stringent hospital handwashing and hygiene policies will fail to stamp out such pathogens if patients and their visitors do not follow similar rules.

To show the public the importance of handwashing, explain deep cleaning and why its importance and give patients a chance to put their ideas forward for the best ways to improve hospital cleanliness, the NHS has launched a campaign called Hand in Hand: Fighting Infection Together.

The campaign envisages having “glo and tell” boxes at NHS centres around the county to demonstrate how good handwashing can kill germs.

People smear their hands with a special gel that glows in UV light. They wash their hands, and put them in the box, and any areas they missed will glow.

Meanwhile, two UK hospitals have come under fire for poor hygiene policies.

Nottingham University Hospitals Trust, which runs Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre and City Hospital, has been under pressure recently after criticism in a Department of Health report.

The document said cleaners had “little understanding” of the importance of cleaning, and that the trust’s bosses were putting finance before patient safety.

The report writers had observed “poor hand hygiene” in the hospitals and criticised dirty wards – despite the trust introducing a raft of measures to try to combat pathogens.

NHS