New drive for hospital cleanliness

HOW clean are you hands?That is the question being asked of Ipswich Hospital visitors and staff today as the hospital launches hand hygiene awareness week.

HOW clean are you hands?

That is the question being asked of Ipswich Hospital visitors and staff today as the hospital launches hand hygiene awareness week.

The campaign to raise hygiene standards comes the week after the hospital received a notice to improve from the Healthcare Commission as a result of its failure to comply with the hygiene code.

The hospital was criticised by the independent monitoring body for its use of sterilisation units which used hand-washing techniques rather than automated washing.

Now, during hygiene awareness week which is running until Sunday, the hospital will be asking both staff and visitors to take even more care to make sure their hands are clean.

During the hospital's afternoon visiting period information stands in the hospital's entrances will feature information about hygiene and there will be an ultra violet light box and glow cream so visitors can test how effective their hand washing really is.

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Visitors can put glow cream on their hands, wash them with warm water and soap, rinse and dry them before placing them under the ultra violet light where any remaining cream will show up.

Gwen Collins, director of infection prevention and control, said: "People are often shocked to find that they have not always washed their hands as effectively as they think they have.

“It is hoped that the public and visitors to the hospital will help play their part, alongside hospital staff, in continuing to maintain the high profile of infection control."

Does more need to be done to tackle infections at Ipswich Hospital? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.