Barry the bug is back

30 March 2006

‘Barry the Bug’ is back and this time he’s armed - with alcohol gel and important advice for staff, patients and visitors as part of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Hand Hygiene Awareness Week (3 – 7 April 2005).

‘Barry the Bug’ is back and this time he’s armed - with alcohol gel and important advice for staff, patients and visitors as part of Chelsea and Westminster Hospital’s Hand Hygiene Awareness Week (3 – 7 April 2005).

The infamous bug will be joined by entertainers Colonel Custard and ‘Bugs’ Bunny as they make their way to wards and departments to give out information about keeping your hands clean.

Their mission for the day will be to help the hospital make even more improvements to reduce rates of infection - MRSA rates have already fallen by 40 per cent in the last year.

For the fifth year running this popular event, which has been organised by the hospital’s Infection Control Team, aims to raise awareness amongst staff, patients and visitors about the importance of hand hygiene in combating infections. The event will also be an opportunity to highlight how the Trust has already managed

A wide range of attention grabbing activities are planned for the week from a pub quiz and comedy night for staff to a barbershop quartet singing well known songs adapted to incorporate messages about hand hygiene.

More than 20 workshops and lectures are being held for staff with speakers from the Department of Health and the Health Protection Agency.

This year the hospital is also launching a special session called ‘Infection Control Made Easy’ for people who have signed up to become Foundation Trust members.

Senior Infection Control Nurse, Roz Wallis, said: “We are delighted to be running this successful event again this year and to welcome back our favourite bug - Barry.

“Whilst the week is full of many fun activities there is a serious message behind this event for everyone - staff, patients and their visitors.

“About 30 per cent of all infections could be avoided by better infection control. That’s why prevention is so important and why keeping our hands clean and using alcohol gels is one of the most effective ways of reducing the spread of bugs.

“As it’s our fifth year this is also a good opportunity for us to recognise many of our achievements such as the introduction of 50 link professionals – nurses, physiotherapists and pharmacists based on our wards who help spread the message about the importance of infection control all over the hospital. This has played a major part in helping us to reduce our rates of MRSA bacteraemia by 40 per cent in the last year - a reduction of 19 cases.”

In the last five years the Trust has also introduced more than 1,000 alcohol gel dispensers by bedsides and on wards as well as a screening programme for patients having surgery.

Working with Greenwich University the Trust has launched a new Master of Science online course on the management of infection control for staff working in healthcare – one of the first of its kind in the country.

Chelsea and Westminster Healthcare NHS Trust was the first hospital in the UK to pilot the Royal College of Nursing’s ‘Wipe it Out’ campaign and to use a new catheter which will help to reduce infections. The silver alloy coated hydrogel urinary catheter supplied by BARDEX was assessed and approved by the Government’s Rapid Review Panel in December.

PHOTOCALL

Photographers and reporters are invited to the launch of Hand Hygiene Awareness Week on Monday 3rd April. A photocall will be held on 3 April 2006 at 11.30am. Please confirm with Sarah McKellar if you are attending and to make arrangements on 020 7808 9899.

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