Clean hands save lives

Date: 28 June 2017

Clean hands saves lives

Medway NHS Foundation Trust recently launched a ‘Hands Aware, Safe to Care’ campaign to promote better hand hygiene amongst staff, patients and visitors at the Trust.

By raising the profile of hand hygiene and its importance in protecting everyone’s health, we hope to reduce infection rates in the hospital, in community clinics and more widely across Medway and Swale.

Kath Lawson-Hughes, Head of Infection Control at Medway NHS Trust, explains: “Clean hands are really important in stopping infections spreading and we want to encourage everyone to regularly wash their hands. “There are a lot more bugs than you might think that get transferred to surfaces on public transport, to our car steering wheels, to door handles and to other surfaces at home, at work and in public. These can be very easily transmitted between people and are a particular risk to people who are already sick, as well as children and the elderly.” The illnesses that these bugs cause can be greatly reduced by following simple infection control precautions, such as good hand hygiene.

This is important in all walks of life but especially in a hospital where patients are vulnerable and susceptible to illness and infection. Kath adds: “The safety of our patients is of the upmost importance to us and that is why we are asking our patients, visitors and staff to be ‘hands aware’. We want all members of the community to feel confident that we are doing everything possible to reduce the risk of infection. “We also support all of our visitors to challenge staff and ask them if they have washed their hands before providing care.” To support this renewed focus, the Trust has put up additional posters and signs across the Trust, as well as communicating directly to staff across the organisation on the importance of good hand hygiene in their work. Further measures and activities are planned for later in the year. Hand gel is available throughout the hospital, including in the main entrance and inside every ward/department. If you notice that the hand gel is empty, please inform a member of staff.

Stay safe - keep your hands clean

Clean your hands, with both soap and water or with hand gel, every time you:

  • Have visibly dirty hands – use soap and water
  • Plan to eat and before and after preparing food
  • Use the toilet
  • Blow your nose or when coughing into your hands
  • Touch pets or other animals
  • Visit a sick friend or relative.

Make sure that when you clean your hands, you do it thoroughly. As well as your palms and fingers, make sure that you also wash the backs of your hands and in-between your fingers and wrists.

  • Summary:

    Medway NHS Foundation Trust recently launched a ‘Hands Aware, Safe to Care’ campaign to promote better hand hygiene amongst staff, patients and visitors at the Trust.