Help stop bringing bugs into hospital - staff, patients and visitors urged to wash hands

The Westmorland Gazette: Sue Smith, UHMBT's Executive Chief Nurse with the campaign posters Sue Smith, UHMBT's Executive Chief Nurse with the campaign posters

HOSPITAL bosses have launched a promotional campaign to help educate people about bringing bugs into hospitals.

The campaign is running across Westmorland General Hospital, Furness General Hospital and the Lancaster Royal Infirmary run by the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Foundation Trust (UHMBT).

It aims to remind visitors, staff and patients to do what they can to help reduce infections such as MRSA, norovirus and Clostridium Difficile.

Installations and posters ask: “Is it me, you or them?” - responsible for tackling infections.

Sue Smith, the new executive chief nurse of the Trust said: “We want to raise the awareness of the issue at a time when infections are on everyone’s mind. It is the season when Norovirus can strike, and we want people to think about infection prevention wherever they may be in our hospitals.

“Simple steps can make a huge difference. If everyone cleans their hands with soap and water when entering and leaving a clinical environment, and staff do so in between each interaction with a patient, hospitals can significantly reduce risk of patients acquiring Clostridium Difficile and MRSA.

“We want patients to play their part. They have my full support if they challenge clinical staff as to whether they have cleaned their hands before they perform any task at the bedside.

"We know reducing hospital-acquired infections is a top priority for patients and the public, and it is our priority too.

"We are already taking steps to tackle infection and want to raise awareness of the importance of effective measures to combat hospital infections, which include hand-washing and using alcohol hand gel.

"The last thing in the world we want, is for people that are coming into our hospitals picking up an infection. Everyone has a role to play."

Handwashing is vital to tackle Clostridium Difficile and MRSA – and members of the public are reminded not to visit any hospital if they have suffered from, or have been in contact with someone who has suffered from diarrhoea or vomiting recently.

Just last week, the Trust had to close a ward at the RLI to visitors after an outbreak of the winter vomiting bug.



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