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Matrons back on wards over hygiene

A new role for nurses will see a return to the old-style matron on hospital wards as part of a drive to improve standards, the Scottish Government has announced.

A revamped role for senior charge nurses is aimed at fighting infection and providing leadership, health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said.

“In some respects this is about going back to the future, as senior charge nurses will have the same responsibility for ward hygiene as matrons used to have – set in the context of a 21st century environment,” she said.

All NHS hospitals in Scotland will be covered by nurses in the new role by 2010, with one responsibility being to ensure cleaning and hygiene are acceptable every day.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Throughout Scotland, senior charge nurses will ensure everyone receives the highest possible standards of care on their ward.

“Maintaining the safety and cleanliness will be one of the key aspects of this role. Leading by example, they will ensure that staff, patients and visitors follow hygiene rules as part of our continuing drive to improve cleanliness and prevent the spread of infection.”

The Royal College of Nursing in Scotland welcomed the move and said it was “pivotal” to improving care.

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Royal College of Nursing in Scotland