Members of Whittington Health’s infection prevention and control team are: (l-r) Dr. Julie Andrews, Martin Peache, Gretta O'Toole, Patricia Folan, Mike Coltman, Dr. Michael Kelsey and Tracey Groarke.
Whittington Health in London is stepping up its fight against healthcare-associated infections (HAI) by launching a new campaign to urge people in the hospital to stop and clean their hands. The campaign launched on Jan. 5, 2014.
Under the banner of "Join the Whittington Warriors," the campaign encourages staff, visitors and patients to practice quick and easy hand hygiene measures to reduce HAIs and save lives.
Alison Kett, deputy director of nursing at Whittington Health, says, “Our message in our Whittington Warriors campaign is simple. By following quick and easy hand hygiene measures, our staff, visitors and patients are helping to stop the spread of bacterial infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile. Effective hand hygiene is the main way of reducing infections and can help to save lives.”
The campaign features new hand hygiene stations at the hospital’s entrances and eye-catching posters featuring staff from across the hospital, urging people to “Join the Whittington Warriors” by cleaning their hands. There are alcohol gel dispensers and posters showing the seven steps of effective handwashing technique at stations across the hospital.
Visitors are asked to put gel on their hands every time they enter the facility, and before and after visiting patients. There are hand gel dispensers at the hospital entrances and at the entrance to every ward.
Whittington Health staff are encouraged to follow the World Health Organization (WHO)'s guidelines for hand hygiene for healthcare staff, called the Five Moments for Hand Hygiene. The guidelines were developed by WHO to identify the moments during patient care when staff need to clean their hands to prevent HAIs.
Dr. Jo Sauvage, Islington Clinical Commissioning Group vice chair and a local GP, notes, “Hand hygiene is the most important method of preventing and controlling infection. By washing your hands you can prevent norovirus, flu, MRSA and diarrhea and vomiting; this also ensures that you are not spreading any germs you may have to others around you.”