Ashford & St. Peter’s Hospitals have been very successful in reducing infections such as Clostridium Difficile and MRSA over recent years, due to robust infection prevention and control measures.
On arrival at a members’ event about infection prevention on 6th November, the audience were invited to put cream on their hands and test how well they washed them. Their efforts were checked by an ultra violet machine, which showed any residue left over. Thumbs and tops of fingers can be easily missed, but cleanliness is crucial for hospitals to prevent MRSA and Clostridium Difficile.
The fall in cases is national, but Ashford & St. Peter’s has been a leading light. The success has been achieved by good hand hygiene and everybody, whether staff, patient or visitor, being aware and contributing. All matrons, sisters and consultants now have infection control in their job descriptions, and other important measures include strongly discouraging visitors from sitting on patients’ beds. Cleaning has a very important role to play in infection prevention. One hundred and forty five cleaners, directly employed by the hospital, undertake 253,000 hours of cleaning yearly, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Due to the concerted efforts of many staff, patients can now come into hospital knowing that they are at minimal risk of suffering setbacks caused by these serious but preventable infections.
Margaret Lenton, Public Governor for Windsor and Maidenhead