August 8, 2008

Ways to Ensure Better Hospital Hygiene

WE ARE pleased to note that the Health Secretary is targeting hospital hygiene. We have raised our concern on frequent occasions, often under the banner of "bring back the matron" and the standards she enforced.

On dress code, we agree that nurses should not wear their uniforms outside.

All medical staff, including doctors/consultants, when in hospital should wear uniforms. Ties would not be worn and hair should be covered.

Regarding hospital hygiene, staff uniforms should be laundered in the hospital, which would ensure that proper temperatures and detergents are used. This issue becomes even more important due to the soaring cost of gas and electricity when many people are using lower temperatures and maximum load in their washing machines.

The rule of only two visitors at a bed must be enforced and, even more importantly, no children. This may appear harsh, but children can carry infections dangerous to vulnerable patients.

Only hospital food should be allowed. Hospitals are capable of dealing with patients who have special needs, eg dietary, religious.

Cleaners, in the past, were allocated wards which were their responsibility. This ensured a greater sense of teamwork among all of the ward staff.

Hospitals have made great efforts to have ample supplies of hand cleansers on entering all wards and at each bed. Each ward should be supplied with a monitoring machine in which each visitor would have to place their hands for clearance on entering and leaving a ward. Or possibly cheaper, a buzzer installed to buzz if anyone enters or leaves without using the cleansers.

In our view these measures would go a considerable way in reducing hospital infections.

Margaret Hinds, Chair, Health Service Forum South East, 4 Meadowhill, Glasgow

Originally published by Newsquest Media Group.

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