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April 2009


In this issue:



Campaign update  

The cleanyourhands team have been busy this month working on the next stage of the campaign; developing the new-look website (more information below), arranging delivery of materials and working on the Five Moments workshops.


Over the last couple of months we have also had a number of very successful site visits NHS Redbridge, Oxfordshire PCT, NHS Durham, Devon Partnership Trust and Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust.It’s been great to see what you are doing locally – keep up the good work!

We held the first of our Five Moments workshops in Newcastle and Leeds last week. The workshops were very well received and we are grateful to those that attended for making the workshops so enjoyable. There was lots of lively discussion and most delegates agreed that it provided a valuable opportunity to network with colleagues in their region.


Over the next few months these will take place across the country taking the form of 'cascade training' sessions which will provide infection control leads with what we hope will be a useful training resource in the WHO’s Five Moments approach. These workshops are open to one person from each trust, and they will be provided with information and resources to help cascade the training to their colleagues.


For more information about the workshops, please visit the registration page.  


If you haven’t registered for a workshop, please do so quickly as places are limited.


Latest figures from the HPA

The Health Protection Agency (HPA) has released the quarterly figures on MRSA bloodstream infections for October to December 2008.


The latest figures from the HPA’s mandatory surveillance have shown 676 cases reported in England during the period of October to December 2008.


This shows a 7% decrease from the previous quarter (July to September 08) when 725 cases were reported, and a 38% decrease from the same quarter in 2007 October to December), when 1092 cases were reported. 


For more information, please view the HPA’s press release.


Scottish hand hygiene compliance audit report

This month saw the NHS Scotland publish the 6th annual hand hygiene compliance audit report. This audit report is compiled to report back the results of hand hygiene audits carried out by the project auditors using the Scottish hand hygiene audit tool. You can read and interpret the results online at Health Protection Scotlands's website.


The advantage of having one standard audit tool in use is that it allows a degree of comparability unachievable in a healthcare economy where multiple tools are used in a variety of ways, such as is currently occurring in England and Wales. The use of one tool however does not overcome all issues of reliability. For example in the Scottish system auditors are funded for their specific role. This may be considered to be a risk in relation to falsely positive results, however on the other end of the spectrum data on hand hygiene in England could not be gathered in one place reliably enough to even calculate a compliance rate. Clearly the work in Scotland is moving in the direction we should all be moving in.


The cleanyourhands campaign will be working with key stakeholders in England and Wales this year to move towards national standardization in hand hygiene auditing. As in Scotland we envisage this will be strongly related to the Five Moments approach to hand hygiene. This project is an important element of ongoing work and we will update you all on its progress as we move forward.



New look website

The cleanyourhands campaign’s website has had a makeover!


The site has been completely redesigned and now reflects the look of the new campaign materials.


A new site structure has also been created, which has two key elements:

  • Public-facing pages, containing information about the campaign, news and key information sources;

  • Restricted area for the local campaign coordinators, which has examples of the campaign artwork, a discussion forum and access to resources to help trusts implement the campaign.

The new-look website has several new features:

The resource area contains several features new to the website:

  • Discussion forum to enable coordinators to discuss key topics and issues

  • Downloads of all artwork for materials to enable trusts to locally reproduce materials or use images in newsletters etc

  • Downloads of artwork-only items, such as mugs, banner stands etc to enable local promotion of the campaign

  • Access to educational resources, such as videos, handouts and slides

  • An online implementation guide to help trusts with implementing the next stage of the campaign


We would love to hear your feedback on the new look and functionality of the site – there is a short feedback form that can be found online.


Article review

Julie Storr and Ronald Jonga have provided an authoritative evaluation on an article on hand hygiene for the F1000 medicine website.


The article entitled “An integrative review of the current evidence on the relationship between hand hygiene interventions and the incidence of health care-associated infections” by Backman C, Zoutman DE, Marck PB, published in the American Journal of Infection Control 2008 Jun 36 (5):333-48 reviewed 35 studies on hand hygiene interventions, including seven studies using multimodal approaches.  The review can be read in full at F1000 Medicine.


Five ideas for 5th of May

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been galvanizing international action to raise awareness and promote the importance of good staff hand hygiene in healthcare with 5 May 2009 acting as a focal point for action. Your trust may have already signed up to this initiative SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands. As at 1st April, over 1730 healthcare facilities have registered their interest around the world; with 117 from the UK.


United approach to hand hygiene

Following the success of a joint initiative for Infection Control Week 2008, a united approach for the SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands has been agreed with representatives from the four UK nations.


Our plans for 2009 are relatively low-key but this is intended to become an ‘official’ annual event so 2010 will be a much bigger affair. For this year, we will be writing to NHS chief executives to highlight the initiative – copied to yourselves of course – and providing a fun, electronic game on the Five Moments that you can circulate to your staff.


We are also encouraging healthcare organisations to recognise the day locally and have provided some ideas that you may like to consider below.


  • Commitment – produce an easy to access ‘commitment board’ on as many of your sites as possible where staff can pledge their commitment to hand hygiene. They can post photos and/or text. The board can list five key principles of hand hygiene that staff can sign up to.

  • Competition – run a ‘slogan’ or ‘poster’ or ‘mascot’ competition for staff, encouraging them to produce something that will be used to promote hand hygiene in your organisation over the coming year. 

  • Celebrity status – recognise local hand hygiene champions with an award that is presented by senior management/ local celebrity/ patient/service user. Staff can nominate their champions.

  • Call in – establish a hand hygiene hotline (phone, email, suggestion box) where staff can call in/request further information on hand hygiene. Promote this heavily across the organisation.

  • Chill out - Take a few minutes to learn about staff hand hygiene. Senior management should voice support for all staff to be given fifteen minutes to attend short demonstrations done by IC team and link staff to explain the Five Moments.