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Posts Tagged ‘MRSA Action UK’

English: The Westminster Clock ("Big Ben&...

That’s why it sparkles! – The Westminster Clock (“Big Ben”) being cleaned in August, 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I took two days off at the end of last week, which I had looked forward to for approximately ever* and had a glorious time on Thursday marvelling how beautiful our capital looks in the Autumn sunshine.  Big Ben was literally shining, and it was impossible not to feel proud as you wove through the crowds of tourists taking photographs.  A happy day.  And topped off perfectly by some superb theatre in the evening.  Such a day certainly helps with the lows that can so suddenly hit…and which can leave you sofa-d for a few days….!  Still, am back vertical now, and just about to write up a draft of my background chapter, which introduces the topic of HCAI (Healthcare Associated Infections), explaining their prominence, burden and the factors we have at our disposal to counter them…including, naturally, Hand Hygiene.

It is when revisiting all the stats I have on HCAI that it is easy to become ‘lost in numbers’, a little blasé about figures such as 300,000 annual cases, or £9billion – and forget that each ‘case’ represents an individual story, which doesn’t just end upon hospital discharge.  And thus a presentation I attended by Derek Butler of MRSA Action UK at the UHCW Infection Prevention and Control Study Day on Wednesday 14th November was aptly timed.  He used very personal cases (Step-Father and Father) to illustrate how critical Information, Communication and Education (ICE) are in our work towards Patient Safety.  Particularly, how important it is to remember that the Patient is not only an individual, but more often than not a member of a network of family and friends, all of whom play a part in the wider picture of care, including the prevention of infection.

These individuals should be seen as allies, who can help maintain required standards, and to do this must be kept informed. Information, though, is not enough, and Healthcare Professionals need to always ensure they too lead by example – thus for Hand Hygiene, if we want visitors to perform Hand Hygiene to protect Patients and themselves, we need to ensure that Healthcare Professionals do too. Always. Once we can make sure that both parties understand this need, it will surely be much easier to ‘encourage’ those slower on the uptake, and we will finally start to see these big numbers, representing real people, begin to fall….

*(I may be being less scientific than usual with that calculation…)

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