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You are here: Home \ Trust \ News \ Jan - Jun 2015 \ RD&E'S Infection control team pledge support for Global Hand Hygiene Day


RD&Es Infection Control Team pledge support for Global Hand Hygiene Day

The Infection Prevention and Control Team at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital have been raising awareness of the importance of hand hygiene with a very special kind of election.

The team organised a Hand Hygiene Pledge Election as part of their activities to mark Global Hand Hygiene Day on May 5th.

The annual event is organised by the World Health Organization (WHO) to promote good hand hygiene practice. According to WHO, hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by health care-associated infections every year. However, more than half of these infections could be prevented by care-givers properly cleaning their hands at key moments in patient care.

The team’s Pledge Election asked RD&E staff to vote for one of the six Hand Hygiene Pledges, including cleaning hands before and after glove use, promoting being bare below the elbows and cleaning hands after contact with the patient zone or environment.  The pledges encouraged staff to focus on one area of hand hygiene ─ perhaps one that they wanted to champion to colleagues or an area that they would like to improve on themselves.

Many staff on the wards and in clinical areas got involved with campaigning and created pledging points in Oasis restaurant and across the hospital to enable more staff to cast their votes. Staff also showed their support by sharing their #safeHANDS selfies on Twitter.

The campaign builds on the RD&E’s already strong reputation for infection prevention and control, having recently become one of a handful of hospitals in the country to have been MRSA free for over three years thanks to a zero-tolerance approach to hospital acquired infections. 

The results of the Pledge Election is yet to be announced but the enthusiastic response by staff is a testament to the Trust’s commitment to providing high quality and safe care for patients.  

Judy Potter, Lead Nurse for Infection Control and Joint Director of Infection Prevention and Control, said: “Hand hygiene is still the most important way we can protect our patients from infection. We all had fun Pledge Electioneering and it was great how involved everyone became, with the hand hygiene message being as fresh as ever.”

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