cleanyourhands will continue to provide national support to all local NHS trusts to improve hand hygiene practice at the point of care. New materials to assist you to educate, engage and raise the profile with staff and patients will be available from April. More information on when and what will be provided will be circulated in mid-March.
In the meantime, we hope that you are all thinking about how you could use the WHO initiative on 5 May 2010 as an opportunity to reinforce the importance of hand hygiene in healthcare. If you haven’t already, you can register your organisation and access resources from the WHO website.
In last month’s ebulletin, Enfys showcased some of the excellent work acute trusts have been demonstrating in promoting and progressing the Five Moments for hand hygiene message in practice. This month she is keen to highlight examples from ambulance trusts in both England and Wales as Enfys explains: “Some healthcare staff state they experience difficulties in applying the Five Moments into all the various and multi-faceted healthcare environments. Understandably, this causes concern as it affects patient safety and delivery at the point of care, but sharing experiences demonstrates and supports how some of the challenges can be met and tackled effectively.”
The Five Moments concept was initially designed for acute healthcare settings and it has been recognised that this does require some consideration when applying it into other environments, but it is achievable.
Here are a couple of examples of how two ambulance trusts are applying the concept in practice.
The Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust was chosen as an early implementer of the cleanyourhands campaign. Illtyd Hollard, Infection Prevention and Control Lead Officer and the three Regional IP&C Leads, have worked on a raft of measures to make the concept a reality. With approximately 3000 staff and 86 stations, Illtyd noted that it was particularly useful to introduce ‘point of care’ prompts in the rear of ambulances as a reminder for staff to use the handrub. This has helped promote a culture for hand hygiene to become the norm and support a seamless patient transfer into hospital settings.
Women’s scrum half and Paramedic, Sarah said: “In the ambulance service, we treat people in all sorts of different locations. We need to ensure that we don’t pass germs from one patient to the next – cleaning our hands can prevent this. We all have a responsibility to ourselves as well as to our patients and colleagues to stop the spread of infections through good hand hygiene – playing as a team and working together is as important in patient safety as it is on the rugby pitch.”
Likewise, Brian Pullen, Infection Control Manager, and his colleagues in the South East Coast Ambulance Service in England, have worked hard to embed staff awareness and improved compliance. The Service has concentrated on making the environment more infection control friendly to promote good practice and provide handrub dispensers at the ‘point of care’. On the practice front, Brian has focused on implementing supports to aid application of the Five Moments and produce a smoother flow of work with the aim of this resulting in less risk of cross infection. This has included, a bare below the elbow protocol; review and update of the uniform policy and aseptic technique; provision of sterile packs for cannulation, catheterisation and wound care to mention a few.
So the challenge is on! If the Five Moments can be implemented and embedded in an ambulance, surely it can work in other settings.
The call is now for mental health trusts to respond as to how they have implemented the Five Moments successfully, as this seems to be a particularly challenging area to apply the ‘point of care’ message in practice.
Following the regional Five Moments workshops held last year, we have put together a list of questions which were frequently asked at the events. We hope that these will serve as a useful guide to the more basic queries regarding the Five Moments. The aim is to update these as the ongoing dialogue about the approach continues so please get in touch with the team if you have a question which has not been covered. The FAQs can be accessed in the Five Moments section of the coordinator’s resource area (please note that you will need to be logged into the website).
We will shortly be sending out a publication which reflects on the campaign‘s journey so far. Stopping infection in its tracks. The story of the cleanyourhands campaign, takes stock of the great work, commitment and achievements made by NHS organisations to improve hand hygiene practices and ultimately patient safety.We hope that this will inspire continued commitment from NHS trusts so that we are able to write volume two in the future! Copies will be making their way to lead campaign coordinators and trust chief executives as well as being available on the cleanyourhands website.
We are pleased to report that South Western Ambulance Service NHS Trust were winners at the Patient Safety Awards 2010 for their project - Clean Care: Transforming Pre Hospital Infection Prevention and Control. The project aimed to standardise infection control policy and practice throughout the organisation to improve patient safety. This was achieved through a number of measures including new guidelines and education.
Other finalists in the infection control category included the Royal College of Art Helen Hamlyn Centre: 6 Designs for Infection Control; Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust: ANTT Mats; Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust: VitalPAC Screening and Surveillance; and Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust: Prevention and Management of Hospital Acquired Infections.
Congratulations to the winners and all the finalists!
It is important that we keep our campaign coordinator contact lists as up to date as possible to ensure that you and your colleagues receive any essential information regarding the campaign. You can keep us up to date by emailing any changes to firstname.lastname@example.org or by filling out our short online notification form.