Clean hands save lives

0

On the 2nd September 2008 the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has reissued its Alert on hand hygiene to reinforce its importance as a significant factor in reducing infection in health.

The guidance has been produced by the NPSA and applies to all NHS staff in England and Wales who have direct contact with patients.

Speaking of the Clean Hands Save Lives alert, Martin Fletcher, Chief Executive of the NPSA said:

The patient safety alert highlights the need for all healthcare staff to clean their hands at the point of care, that is, the patients immediate environment where treatment takes place, as this is when there is the greatest risk of transferring infection. In hospitals, the point of care will usually be around the patients bed, while in other settings this could be a treatment room, cot, chair, ambulance or the patients home.

The NPSA recommends the use of alcohol handrub only on non-soiled hands as it is effective and quick to use. If hands are visibly dirty or if the patient has been experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea then the healthcare staff must wash their hands with liquid soap and water.

From 1 November 2003 to 15 July 2008 there have been 379 patient safety incidents reported to the NPSA involving alcohol handrub. Although the majority of these resulted in no or low harm the NPSA believes that these risks could be managed if NHS trusts followed their recommendations on where the handrub dispensers should be placed.

The National Patient Safety Agency has always said that alcohol handrub is most effective when the dispensers are installed at the point of care as this is when staff should be cleaning their hands to avoid spreading infection, Martin Fletcher said. In most cases this is at the foot of the patients bed, their bedside locker or their chair. We recommend staff use personal dispensers, particularly if they treat children or mental health patients, as this further minimises risk. Hospitals that install handrub dispensers away from the point of care, including along corridors or at ward entrances, must take the necessary safety and storage precautions.

To coincide with the alert, which replaces guidance from 2004 and now includes best practice guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the NPSA is hosting a summit today (2 September) at the UCL Institute of Child Health. The summit will highlight issues such as risk management and the international standard for hand hygiene products through a series of presentations by the WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety, Health Protection Agency, Department of Health and Welsh Assembly Government.

Local organisations remain responsible for making sure their healthcare staff comply with hand hygiene procedures, and the NPSA will review how the alert has been put into practice in April 2009.

View the alert here.
On the 2nd September 2008 the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has reissued its Alert on hand hygiene to reinforce its importance as a significant factor in reducing infection in health.

The guidance has been produced by the NPSA and applies to all NHS staff in England and Wales who have direct contact with patients.

 Speaking of the “Clean Hands Save Lives” alert, Martin Fletcher, Chief Executive of the NPSA said:

“The patient safety alert highlights the need for all healthcare staff to clean their hands at the point of care – that is, the patient’s immediate environment where treatment takes place – as this is when there is the greatest risk of transferring infection. In hospitals, the point of care will usually be around the patient’s bed, while in other settings this could be a treatment room, cot, chair, ambulance or the patient’s home.”

The NPSA recommends the use of alcohol handrub only on non-soiled hands as it is effective and quick to use. If hands are visibly dirty or if the patient has been experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea then the healthcare staff must wash their hands with liquid soap and water.

From 1 November 2003 to 15 July 2008 there have been 379 patient safety incidents reported to the NPSA involving alcohol handrub. Although the majority of these resulted in no or low harm the NPSA believes that these risks could be managed if NHS trusts followed their recommendations on where the handrub dispensers should be placed.

“The National Patient Safety Agency has always said that alcohol handrub is most effective when the dispensers are installed at the point of care as this is when staff should be cleaning their hands to avoid spreading infection,” Martin Fletcher said. “In most cases this is at the foot of the patient’s bed, their bedside locker or their chair. We recommend staff use personal dispensers, particularly if they treat children or mental health patients, as this further minimises risk. Hospitals that install handrub dispensers away from the point of care, including along corridors or at ward entrances, must take the necessary safety and storage precautions”.

To coincide with the alert, which replaces guidance from 2004 and now includes best practice guidelines set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the NPSA is hosting a summit today (2 September) at the UCL Institute of Child Health. The summit will highlight issues such as risk management and the international standard for hand hygiene products through a series of presentations by the WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety, Health Protection Agency, Department of Health and Welsh Assembly Government.

Local organisations remain responsible for making sure their healthcare staff comply with hand hygiene procedures, and the NPSA will review how the alert has been put into practice in April 2009.

View the alert here.

Share.

Comments are closed.

Free Email Updates
Join 5.5K IVTEAM members. Subscribe now and be the first to receive all the latest free updates from IVTEAM!
100% Privacy. We don't spam.