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GOOD HYGIENE, GOOD HEALTH


Steve Nurdin, Marketing Manager at Cannon Hygiene, explains how a robust, consistent hygiene policy should form the basis of a hospital’s infection control plan.


Preventing the spread of bacteria is one of the basic fundamentals of any healthcare facility. Yet despite this, one in every 16 patients contracts an infection during a hospital stay, according to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE).


And with a rise in drug-resistant bacteria like new strains of E-Coli and MRSA, controlling these threats has become even more crucial – not only to protect patients’ health, but the reputation of the NHS as a whole. Media are quick to highlight sub-standard care providers and damning headlines detailing infection outbreaks can be difficult for a hospital to recover from.


The best defence is excellent hygiene. This must be practised by everyone entering a hospital – staff, patients and visitors alike – but the sheer size of sites and the volume of people passing through each day can make it difficult to ensure consistency. This can be made easier if facilities managers can establish procedures that help control good hygiene automatically and maintain standards.


46 | HEALTHCARE HYGIENE


LEAVE GERMS AT THE DOOR A hospital’s hygiene policy should come into play from the moment someone crosses the threshold. Doormats are the first barrier between patients and outside germs, and an obvious route for dirt into a building is on people’s shoes.


Mats should be cleaned regularly but are often overlooked: regular vacuuming will keep a doormat’s surface looking clean, but this only removes 10% of trapped dirt. Professionally laundering doormats will ensure that all bacteria are removed on a regular basis without spreading further into the hospital, as well as prolonging the mat’s effective lifespan.


HYGIENIC HANDS Although doormats can prevent germs travelling in via feet, most bacteria and viruses are transferred either by hand-to-surface contact or via the air. This is especially prevalent in shared spaces like washrooms, waiting areas and communal rooms.


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