Clean-up warning to professionals

SUFFOLK patients are being encouraged to ask health professionals if they've cleaned their hands today in an effort to fight infections.NHS Suffolk, the county's primary care trust, signed up to the Clean Your Hands campaign earlier this summer.

SUFFOLK patients are being encouraged to ask health professionals if they've cleaned their hands today in an effort to fight infections.

NHS Suffolk, the county's primary care trust, signed up to the Clean Your Hands campaign earlier this summer.

Now a dedicated project coordinator has begun a six-month secondment to encourage patients to ask their doctor, NHS dentist or other healthcare worker if they have cleaned their hands.

Nurse Kate Laybourne, the Clean Your Hands coordinator, said: “The Clean Your Hands campaign is already set up in Suffolk's acute hospitals, and has been very successful at helping prevent the spread of infection.

“We're now rolling it out in every clinic, community hospital, dental clinic and healthcare facility within the trust. My role is to raise awareness that staff should be cleaning their hands both before and after every single patient contact.

“Staff should also feel that they are able to challenge each other on whether they are maintaining good hand hygiene too.

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“The practices we're promoting aren't new - they are something we have already been doing. We are simply trying to raise awareness of the difference good hand hygiene can make.

“The campaign is also about empowering patients, so that they feel comfortable and confident to ask their healthcare worker if they have cleaned their hands.

“Hopefully, by working together in this way, we can help reduce the spread of healthcare acquired infections like MRSA and clostridium difficile as having clean hands really is the first line of defence against these infections.”

Does more need to be done to tackle cleanliness in Suffolk's healthcare system? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.