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August 2010 

In this month’s e-bulletin:




cleanyourhands update

Since our last ebulletin the government has published a white paper outlining the future of all Arms Length Bodies. Arms length bodies are agencies, like the National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA), which carry out a particular function in the NHS but are not actually part of the Department of Health (DH). In outlining the future of the NHS the white paper announced that the NPSA will be abolished. The changes outlined can be read in detail in the white paper here.


We are disappointed that this decision has been made; NPSA Chairman Sir Liam Donaldson said “Naturally I am disappointed that the Agency cannot continue its work as one of the leading organisations of its kind in the world.  It is vital that the key functions necessary to improve patient safety in the NHS are retained.  We are fully committed to working with the Government to make sure this happens.  The international evidence is clear that in all health care systems, too many patients are being harmed from preventable errors.  It remains a priority to turn this situation around.”


The future structure of the NHS is currently unclear and a transition period will be required to determine which parts and functions of the NPSA may be retained by moving them to the new bodies which will come into existence. The government is working on a transition plan which will give us more information on when and how the NPSA will stop operating. Until this time we will continue to carry on business as usual and look forward to implementing our activity plan as detailed in our last ebulletin.


If you have any questions about the implications for cleanyourhands please do not hesitate to contact us. If you would like to know more about the restructuring of the NHS please contact DH.     




Website changes 

As mentioned in July’s ebulletin we have been busy making some subtle changes to the cleanyourhands website in order to make access to information clearer and more efficient.


We hope that this will make resources more accessible but if you are having problems locating any of the resources, please email the team.



  • If you have any comments about the website please email the team and we shall work to address your issues as soon as possible.
  • What do you want us to talk about online? Tell us here.




Places still available on our webinars!

There are still places available on our webinars taking place from September – November. Don’t miss the opportunity to take part in these discussions about successfully implementing sustained change in hand hygiene and infection control.


Our online seminars (webinars) will be hosted by cleanyourhands and guest speakers, and will cover issues such as:


  1. hand hygiene monitoring and audit - 23 September 1400-1500pm
  2. sustainability - 19 October 1400-1500pm
  3. hand hygiene as part of patient safety - 22 November 1400-1500pm



There are 25 places per webinar so we will only accept one registration per trust on a first come first served basis. Please be sure to sign up for these sessions quickly to avoid disappointment. You can register by clicking on one of the meeting links above and sending an email with your name and trust. (Please leave the subject line intact.)



cleanyourhands Regional

CYH at Medway
cleanyourhands at Medway NHS Foundation Trust

As part of cleanyourhands Regional we have been carrying out site visits and facilitating workshops at various trusts across England and Wales including Barnet PCT, Medway NHS Foundation Trust and Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.


We were impressed by the levels of team work, openness and dedication to infection prevention and control at these organisations, and learned a lot about different organisation’s approaches to reducing healthcare associated infections. We have had the opportunity to visit a wide variety of wards dealing with a variety of clinical specialisms.

About cleanyourhands Regional


The cleanyourhands regional workshops have proven to be a fantastic way for you to share your experiences with different organisations and for us to learn about your organisation’s approach to dealing with infection prevention and control. The workshops cover a variety of issues including:

  • Understanding how to address cultural and organisational barriers to hand hygiene
  • Learning how to address issues preventing sustained behaviour change
  • Discussing how to engage non-infection control professionals
  • Being open about infection with patients and the public

We shall be holding more workshops over the course of the coming months.



Register your interest here. Please send us an email with your name, organisation and contact number. Attending one of these events would allow you to share your experiences with other NHS organisations and would be a positive demonstration of your organisation’s commitment to infection control and patient safety.




MRSA and C. difficile infections reduced by a third

Annual figures released by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) show the number of MRSA and C. difficile infections reported has decreased by a third inthe period between April 2009 and March 2010.


There were 1,898 MRSA cases reported in this period compared to 2,935 cases reported the previous year, representing a 35% reduction.  Reported cases of C. difficile also fell by 29% in the same period with 25,604 cases reported compared with 36,095 cases reported the previous year.


Dr Christine McCartney, Executive Lead for the HPA Healthcare Associated and Antimicrobial Resistance programme, commented on the achievement:


‘This year we have again observed an impressive reduction in the total number of both MRSA and C. difficile infections and this is a credit to the hard work of our colleagues in the NHS which continues to strengthen good practice in infection control measures.’


For the full statement and further information, visit the HPA website


While we are delighted to hear of these two successes the NPSA remain committed to keeping Infection Prevention high on the patient safety agenda. This is particularly pertinent this month when considering news related to emerging resistant organism and novel enzymes such at New Delhi Metallo Beta Lactamse 1 (NDM 1). To find out more read the HPA Alert here




Collaborative working

cleanyourhands work together with other agencies, governments and organisations who have an interest in hand hygiene. To help keep you updated here is some news from our key partners this month.



Royal College of Nursing

The Royal College of Nursing will be holding an infection prevention seminar ‘Mobilising excellence: preventing infection across European borders’ on 5th November 2010 at the Royal College of Nursing in London. This will be an opportunity to hear updates on the current political priorities for infection prevention at European level and to gain an in-depth understanding of how these issues affect daily practice in the UK. European infection prevention nurse counterparts will present common challenges in infection prevention allowing an opportunity for enhanced mutual understanding of the pressures and drivers for the provision of care.


To see a full programme for the day and to register for this event, please click here.



Infection Prevention Society

The Infection Prevention Society (IPS) continues its preparation for its annual conference in September which has become one of the must attend events for infection prevention and control professionals. This year’s theme is ‘Moving forwards with confidence’ and details on the many speakers and exhibitors can be found on the conference website.


From a hand hygiene perspective we look forward to the launch of the hand hygiene quality improvement tool from the IPS which is scheduled to take place during the conference. These quality improvement tools have been co-funded by the four UK governments and in terms of hand hygiene will assist in moving from simple audit to a quality improvement cycle.