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Beat the Bug: Fourth Hand Hygiene Awareness Week Launched

08 April 2005

‘Barry the Bug’ is making his way to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for the fourth year running to remind staff, patients and visitors to wash their hands.

‘Barry the Bug’ is making his way to Chelsea and Westminster Hospital for the fourth year running to remind staff, patients and visitors to wash their hands.

He will be handing out information and a free squirt of alcohol gel to passers-by as part of Hand Hygiene Awareness Week (11 – 15 April 2005).

The popular event has been organised by the hospital’s Infection Control Team and aims to raise awareness amongst staff, patients and visitors about the importance of hand hygiene in combating infections.

A wide range of attention grabbing activities are planned for the week from a pub quiz in the canteen to a comedy night and live music.

There’s even something for the kids. The Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea, Barry Phelps, will be judging a special hand hygiene drawing competition and there will be entertainment from Colonel Custard and ‘Bugs’ Bunny.

25 lectures are also being held for staff with high profile speakers from the Department of Health and Health Protection Agency.

Senior Infection Control Nurse, Roz Wallis, said: “Patients and visitors should be reassured that we are doing everything we can to improve infection control across the Hospital.

“This week is about raising the profile of hand hygiene to beat the bugs and how everyone can help make a difference.

“Not all infections can be prevented but it is accepted that about 30 per cent could be avoided by better infection control.

“That’s why prevention is so important and why washing our hands and using alcohol gels is one of the most effective ways of reducing the spread of bugs.”

PHOTO CALL

Photographers and reporters are invited to Hand Hygiene Awareness Week. Photo calls will be held on:

  • Monday 11 April 2005 at 1.00pm with Barry the Bug and staff. Please report to the front desk and ask for Sarah McKellar in the press office
  • Friday 15 April 2005 at 11.45am on the hospital’s stage, 2nd floor lift bank D with Mayor of Kensington and Chelsea Barry Phelps.

Please confirm with Sarah McKellar if you are attending on 020 7808 9899.

NOTE TO EDITORS

Chelsea and Westminster’s innovative Hand Hygiene Awareness campaign is being used nationally as an example of innovative practice. It has also been sited in the Journal of Hospital Infections ref 2005/59,72-82. Jenner et al.

On the day the Trust will also be launching, with Greenwich University, a new Master of Science online module on management of infection control designed for staff working in healthcare – one of the first of its kind in the country.

Staff at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital are working hard to reduce the number of hospital acquired infections. Here are just some of the hospitals recent initiatives.

  • More than 800 alcohol gel dispensers have been installed and are being piloted by bedsides.
  • Most patients are screened for MRSA and other infections before their operation.
  • The Trust has recently appointed a new infection control practitioner who will be focusing on reducing infections in patients having orthopaedic surgery and those with urinary catheters.
  • New infection control link professionals are also being introduced. This network of professionals - across all departments in the hospital - will be involved in an intensive programme of training on hand washing techniques and infection control. They will also be involved in auditing practice across the hospital.

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