Latest bid to cut hospital infections

HEALTH bosses are urging patients to quiz their doctor, dentist or healthcare worker as part of the latest fight against potentially fatal infections such as MRSA and C-diff.

Lizzie Parry

HEALTH bosses are urging patients to quiz their doctor, dentist or healthcare worker as part of the latest fight against potentially fatal infections such as MRSA and C-diff.

NHS Suffolk, the county's primary care trust, is encouraging all individuals to ask “have you cleaned your hands?”

It is the latest measure in the fight against infections such as Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Clostridium difficile, which can both be deadly.


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It has allocated a dedicated team of more than 100 healthcare staff as “hand hygiene champions”, to enforce the campaign.

Kate Laybourne, practice development nurse with NHS Suffolk and the cleanyourhands coordinator, said: “The campaign is already set up in Suffolk's acute hospitals and has been very successful at helping prevent the spread of infection.

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“We're now rolling it out in every clinic, community hospital, dental clinic and healthcare facility within the trust.

“My role is to raise awareness that staff should be cleaning their hands both before and after every single patient contact.

“Staff should also feel that they are able to challenge each other on whether they are maintaining good hand hygiene too.

“The practices we're promoting aren't new - they are something we have already been doing. We are simply trying to raise awareness of the difference good hand hygiene can make.”

To ensure hand cleansing remains a top priority, posters, badges and stickers will all reinforce the message and reduce the risk of infections spreading.

Ms Laybourne added: “The campaign is also about empowering patients, so that they feel comfortable and confident to ask their healthcare worker if they have cleaned their hands.

“Hopefully, by working together in this way, we can help reduce the spread of healthcare acquired infections like MRSA and C-diff as having clean hands really is the first line of defence against these infections.”

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