Staff at Northern Devon Healthcare NHS Trust urge patients to ask if they’ve washed their hands
As part of the launch of the national cleanyourhands campaign, Northern Devon Healthcare staff are reassuring patients that it is OK to ask them whether they have washed their hands.
In order to reduce the number of cases of healthcare-acquired infections such as MRSA and C.diff, the Trust is asking patients and staff to take joint action in the fight against infections.
As well as running North Devon District Hospital, the Trust manages Barnstaple Health Centre, Lynton Resource Centre and the community hospitals at Holsworthy, Torrington, Bideford, Ilfracombe and South Molton.
Mike Roberts, the Trust’s Medical Director, said, “We don’t mind being asked by patients if we’ve washed our hands. It means that both patients and clinical staff can be confident that we’re providing the safest possible care.
“Hand washing is the simplest, yet most-effective way of fighting against infections but it will only work if everyone – patient, clinician and visitor to the hospital – does it all the time. Sometimes on a busy ward we can forget, especially if we’re hurrying to help someone or thinking over a problem, so please don’t be afraid to remind us.
“We are aware that some patients may not feel comfortable asking the nurses and doctors to wash their hands, but we can assure them we value the reminder and would rather work together to combat infections.”
The cleanyourhands campaign aims to improve the hand hygiene of healthcare workers in order to help combat healthcare-associated infections. Staff are prompted to clean their hands at the critical time and place – where and when patient care is provided.
The Trust has also put up signs directing patients, staff and visitors to the nearest hand washing area or alcohol gel dispenser. Patients and staff will also be aware of posters around the hospital reminding them to wash their hands on entering any clinical area.
This is the third year of the Trust’s public campaign to help reduce the risks of infection.