2013-10-31 12:17:13 - Every October, National Infection Control Week aims to spread best practice amongst professionals in healthcare and educate the public in the importance of good hygiene in hospitals – and across the country Care UK treatment centres joined in and made learning fun.
In Chesterfield, the team at Barlborough NHS Treatment Centre held a series of fun quizzes and events for patients, visitors, staff and local school children around the theme ‘coughs and sneezes’.
Julia Dolan, the centre’s GP liaison manager, said: “It was wonderful to see so many people engaged in the activities throughout the week.
“Our infection control team tested patients and visitors with ‘wash and glow’. When exposed to a light, this shows the areas where bacteria are present and it is a very real eye-opener for people who have never undergone infection control training. It certainly makes people think about the way they wash their hands.”
The centre was also a riot of colour – thanks to pupils from Barlborough Primary School
– who designed a host of entries for the ‘coughs and sneezes’ themed poster competition. Julia said: “The posters are fantastic; not only do they look very attractive, but they are also very informative and they have proved very popular with our visitors.”
At Eccleshill NHS Treatment Centre in Bradford, the team had an information stand explaining how good hygiene can minimise the risk of spreading nasty winter conditions such as the Norovirus and flu, as well as explaining the importance of inoculation.
GP liaison manager Sharon Cordingley said: “For those at risk, such as the very old, or for people with an underlying medical condition such as asthma, jabs can mean the difference between getting the odd sniffle through the winter or finding themselves in a situation where they need medical treatment or even hospitalisation.
“The jabs take two minutes and are free to anyone aged 65 or over, pregnant women, and those with health conditions such as severe asthma, chest or heart complaints and diabetes.”
The team also handed out goodie bags to patients and visitors, including hand sanitisers, and showed people the residue left after washing by holding their hands over a lightbox.
Steph Dracott, lead ward nurse and infection prevention and control lead, worked with teams at Emersons Green NHS Treatment Centre in Bristol to create five days of events and activities.
Steph said: “As well as having fun by creating CSI type events where we used UV talc and glow gel to show people how germs spread, and setting up a room with a pretend patient to see if people could spot what was wrong, we had some serious events and training.
“We have great teams and an excellent hygiene record, but we were still keen to learn more so we brought in experts from outside the centre to give us additional training in new advances in surgical wound care treatment and skin preparations for surgical operations.”
Each day, Steph emailed an infection prevention and control thought for the day to the teams and responded the next day with some ideas from the latest research into each subject.
Visitors, patients and colleagues also became involved; taking part in surveys and quizzes as well as a poster competition on the theme of coughs and sneezes for team members’ children.
Steph said: “It was a valuable week for the teams and visitors alike and next year we hope to involve local schools in our campaign to raise awareness of the need for excellent hand hygiene.”