Save lives: Clean your hands event

A Ninewells outpatient nurse shows her support for the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands initiative.

A Ninewells outpatient nurse shows her support for the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands initiative.

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Health workers from across NHS Tayside supported the World Health Organisation’s SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands initiative celebrating hand hygiene promotion and improvement on Sunday, May 5.

The SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands global event this year is focused on hand hygiene monitoring and feedback with public involvement.

Every year, hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by health care-associated infections. More than half of these infections could be prevented by caregivers properly cleaning their hands at key moments in patient care.

Health care-associated infections usually occur when germs are transferred by health-care providers’ hands touching the patient.

The most common infections are urinary tract and surgical site infections, pneumonia and infections of the bloodstream.

Practicing good hand hygiene during health care by using alcohol-based hand rubs or washing hands with soap and water if visibly dirty reduces the risk of these infections.

To coincide with the event, NHS Tayside is carrying out a questionnaire for some of those members of the public who have been an inpatient or outpatient within the last six months.

This is to gauge present public opinion around the issue of hand hygiene.

Therefore, if you have been in hospital, within the last six months, either as an inpatient or for an outpatient appointment, it would be helpful if you could take the time to complete the online questionnaire which can be accessed at www.yournhstayside.scot.nhs.uk and follow ‘Consultations’.

This questionnaire will be ‘live’ for the entire month of May to maximise the public’s opportunity of completing it.

The questionnaire seek views on public awareness as to how diseases can be spread, their opinion of our facilities and their perception of staff compliance with hand hygiene expectations.

There will also be the opportunity for some members of the public who will be attending an outpatient appointment at selected departments in Ninewells Hospital, Perth Royal Infirmary or Stracathro Hospital to be provided with the questionnaire during the week beginning May 6.

Hand Hygiene Co-ordinator Margaret Kennedy said: “We support this World Health Organisation global hand hygiene initiative as it is a very important public campaign and encourages healthcare workers to take part in hand hygiene awareness-raising activities.

“It will also allow us to gather patient feedback relating to hand hygiene promotion and improvement, and enables us to proactively respond to ideas put forward to us by the public.”

More than 15,700 health facilities with more than 9 million health workers in 168 countries have registered their commitment to good hand hygiene as part of the campaign, which has been running since 2009.

For more information on the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hand initiative visit www.who.int/gpsc/5may.