West Norfolk hospital’s campaign to reduce infections

A campaign has been launched to raise awareness among staff, patients and visitors at a west Norfolk hospital about the importance of hand hygiene.

A short film about the campaign was also unveiled yesterday which will appear on King's Lynn-based Queen Elizabeth Hospital's website and on social network website YouTube.

The film features doctors, nurses, midwives, a pharmacist, cleaners and one of the hospital's youngest patients explaining how hand hygiene can prevent infections, like C-Diff and MRSA, from spreading.

The campaign, which has also seen a range of banners and posters put on display, is the brainchild of Pauleen Pratt, director of infection prevention control at the hospital.

She said: 'Preventing infection spreading in hospital is a top priority here and we take our responsibility to everyone who uses the hospital very seriously.

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'Thorough hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways of reducing the spread of infection.

'We provide hand gel at the door of every ward and department in the hospital and we urge all visitors to use it when entering and leaving these areas. Everyone has to work together to help us reduce the chance of infection spreading and we do want patients to challenge us to make sure we are complying.'

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Patient Megan Matthews, 10, who appears in the short film, added: 'I make sure the doctors and nurses wash their hands because, if they don't, I could get really poorly.'

The number of C-Diff cases at the hospital in the first six months of this year was 21 which exceeded the target of 18 set by the hospital.

Dr Geoff Hunnam, medical director at the hospital, said: 'The launch of this campaign is a celebration of the successes of the past but also sets out a huge challenge for the future.

'Our nurses and doctors can challenge each other about hand hygiene and we will continue to carry out root cause analysis of each C-Diff infection.

'The other message we want to get across is that every member of staff who works directly with patients should be bare below the elbow.

'This means not wearing wrist watches, no jewellery other than a wedding ring and sleeves above the elbow, rolled up if necessary.

'We hope that the new campaign will help us get these important messages across and make life safer for our patients'.

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