[Skip to content]


April 2010




What to expect this month

In the next few months we will be delivering refreshed materials for the new campaign year as well as launching a new version of the Wi-Five? game.  Please keep an eye out for further communications which will be sent to campaign coordinators.


This month lead coordinators can expect a small delivery which includes a letter outlining plans for the next 6 months, a copy of the cleanyourhands review publication and some refreshed Five Moments resources. We are also re-printing some of the Five Moments credit card flyers which  have been extremely popular. These should be available to order on the online ordering system in the next week or so. Please watch this space!


If any of you are uncertain about how to access or use the online ordering system please contact the team.


Focus groups and survey findings  

As some of you may remember, we held small focus groups at the beginning of the year with cleanyourhands campaign coordinators. An online survey completed by 357 local coordinators was also sent at the end of last year.


The survey and research were undertaken to gauge how and to what extent campaign materials are being utilised in different care settings. This will inform the future strategy in terms of determining what types ofproducts would most effectively promote hand hygiene at the point of care, in the most beneficial formats.


Overall, both the survey and the market research show that cleanyourhands is received positively across all trust types. Respondents felt that the campaign is more deeply embedded in acute trusts. However there was universal agreement that it has gone some way to increasing awareness of the importance of hand hygiene and in some cases promoted behavioural change.


Responses from both the survey and the research show that many of the campaign materials are considered to be ‘essential’ or ‘very useful’. Most trusts feel able to pick and choose what campaign resources work for them. However, there is still some work to be done on making some of the resources more relevant to mental health.


Most encouragingly, 84 percent of the respondents to the survey felt that hand hygiene compliance had improved since implementing the campaign, and 72 per cent think that HCAI levels have either decreased or remained the same since implementing the campaign.


We will be exploring some of the recommendations which have emerged from this research including: maintaining short and simple messages, developing resources that are more relevant to different settings, raising awareness of what resources are available, and moving focus away from posters and more on training resources.


RCN Congress Five Moments fringe event 

This month we will be delivering a special fringe event on the Five Moments at the RCN Congress (25 to 29 April) in Bournemouth. The session, ‘Using the Five Moments for hand hygiene in everyday practice’, will explain the Five Moments for hand hygiene and assist participants to apply the approach in their daily practice to aid decision making relating to hand hygiene.


The event will take place on Thursday, 29 April 12.45-2pm at the Connaught Hotel, Connaught Room. If you are attending RCN Congress, we look forward to seeing you there!


High Five - It’s not for dummies!

This month, it’s time for feedback on the progress in getting medical staff engaged with the Five Moments. In collaborating with medical colleagues over recent weeks, it‘s fair to say that the approach to hand hygiene is not fully embedded into practice within this group of clinicians.


Last month, prior to her departure from the campaign, Enfys visited Barts & The London NHS Trust - Medical Simulation Centre. She met with Angie Nunn, the Manager and team, to link in with raising awareness around the Five Moments concept and how it’s applied in practice. The groups being trained were Year 5 Medical Students, who appeared unfamiliar with the approach, despite preparing to undertake their finals in just a couple of weeks.


The good news is that Angie has agreed to introduce the Five Moments theory and practice into all future medical staff training within the centre. “The centre is a fantastic place to support learning in a safe environment, providing a simulated clinical environment, as real to hospital life as possible. The trainees are given clinical scenarios to work through, whilst having to integrate all the skills and human factors necessary, and although they train using a mannequin, they are expected to perform as though they were engaging with a real patient. (Yes, the mannequin actually gets a name, blinks, speaks and bleeds!)”, Enfys reports.


Part of the training day for medical students also includes Objective Structured Clinical Examinations(OSCE) stations, where staff learn and practice how to include effective hand hygiene practice at the ‘point of patient care’, whilst being mindful of the indications for the Five Moments. This message will progress as more staff are trained.

Another facet utilised to promote engagement with medical colleagues this month, is a ‘Your Five Moments for Hand Hygiene’ letter, aimed at Medical Directors within acute NHS trusts, seeking their support to champion the cause and reinforce the Five Moments approach. Of course, they are also encouraged to work closely with local infection prevention and control teams to ensure a standardised message is conveyed.


Unfortunately Enfys’s time at the NPSA has now come to an end, but she will be handing the batten back to colleague JP this month, who is back from the trenches. Welcome back JP!


1000 Lives Plus campaign   

Following the success of the 1000 Lives campaign in Wales which ran for two years and comes to an end in April 2010, the 1000 Lives Plus campaign will be launched in May 2010 to continue the patient safety improvements already achieved in the region. As Paul Williams, Chief Executive of NHS Wales outlines: “It’s vital that we maintain a focus on this work. In May, we launch 1000 Lives Plus, a five year safety programme to support Health Boards and Trusts in their efforts to reduce avoidable harm, waste and variation in Welsh healthcare.”


Part of this success has been the reduction in some trusts of healthcare associated infections (HCAI). Particularly cited in the latest 1000 Lives campaign bulletin are Cwm Taf, Aneurin Bevan Health Boards and Velindre Cancer Centre for their work to improve infection control practices. Visit the campaign website to read more about their achievements.


The decline continues: MRSA and C. difficile quarterly figures

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has published the rates of MRSA bloodstream infections and C. difficile infections from October to December 2009.


Overall, this quarter saw a 59 per cent decrease in the number of reported MRSA episodes in England, from 1092 cases in 2007 (October to December) to 444 cases during the same time period in 2009.  The number of non-trust apportioned episodes has decreased by 53 per cent from 438 episodes in the fourth quarter of 2007 to 207 episodes in the same period in 2009.


Similarly, there has been a 58 per cent decrease of trust-apportioned episodes of C. difficile between 2007 and 2009 (October to December) and a 41 per cent decrease in the number of all other episodes.


The full press release and results can be read on the HPA’s website.


Home hygiene

We are aware that whilst the cleanyourhands campaign is focused on HCAI that many of your roles will be much broader. Therefore, we thought you may be interested in the range of resources provided by The International Scientific Forum on Home Hygiene (IFH) to raise awareness of the importance of hygiene in the domestic setting.


As a non-governmental, educational organization, IFH has developed an integrated approach to home hygiene including handwashing, food hygiene, respiratory hygiene and general hygiene. This also includes caring for family members who are infected, or who are at greater risk of infection such as patients discharged from hospital or undergoing outpatient treatment, babies, pregnant mums etc. IFH does not communicate directly with the public – their aim is to give support to those who do.

IFH has produced a range of materials in different formats to meet the differing needs of health professionals. These range from detailed reviews of the scientific evidence base to plain language fact/advice sheets. Materials available from the IFH website are grouped as follows:



One of the key actions which IFH has undertaken is the development of a risk-based approach to home hygiene known as targeted hygiene.Targeted hygiene also provides a way to address the various issues such as the hygiene hypothesis (“are we being too clean”) and the concerns about antimicrobial resistance, in that it offers the means to optimise protection against infection risks in the home, with least disturbance to the balance of our human immune system and our natural environment.


Visit the IFH website to learn more about their work and the full range of resources available.


WHO Patient Safety Research: Introductory online courses 

In April, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Patient Safety Research team will be launching a series of online courses to introduce the basic elements of patient safety research.  The sessions will be provided by internationally renowned specialists in patient safety; Dr David Bates, External Program Lead for Research, WHO Patient Safety, and the Director of the Center of Excellence in Patient Safety and Research in USA, and Dr Albert Wu, a professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins University, USA.


To register for any of the courses or for further information visit the WHO website