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October ebulletin

In this issue:



International Infection Prevention Week

'Infection Prevention is Everyone’s Business' is the theme of this year's International Infection Prevention Week which runs this month from 19 to 23 October.


There are a wide range of resources to support your activities on the National Resource for Infection Control (NRIC) website. Whilst internationally, APIC  will be hosting educational webinars on a different theme each day. Hand hygiene will be the theme on Wednesday 21 October; other topics during the week include 'Successful Collaboration: Working with Others to Integrate Infection Prevention' and 'Preventing Surgical Site Infections'.


The cleanyourhands website resource area (you will need to be logged in) contains additional tools that might be useful for your activities during the week:


  • Educational materials including videos such as the Five Moments and When to wash? When to handrub?

  • Downloadable screensavers, desktop wallpaper and email signatures

  • Additional materials, such as badges, stickers, leaflets and handouts, can be ordered via the online system (please allow 2-3 working days for delivery)


The Wi-Five game is also available in a downloadable version to NHS trusts, so please get in touch if you would like to use this to raise awareness of the Five Moments during Infection Prevention Week


However you decide to mark International Infection Prevention Week, we hope to be able to provide some support!


Update on IPS Quality Improvement tools

The launch of the IPS quality improvement tools, including the hand hygiene tools, has unfortunately been delayed.  It is hoped that the launch will now be towards the end of this year.  The Project Board is meeting shortly with the national representatives involved in commissioning the work. 


The quality improvement tools will include three hand hygiene tools; one to assess the hand hygiene facilities available, one to assess technique; and one to assess compliance with the WHO Five Moments for hand hygiene. 


We will keep you updated with more information on this work as it becomes available.


Don't let the winter bugs bite!

As winter approaches we would like to reinforce the importance of hand hygiene, particularly at the point of care. At this time of year it is especially important to remember that soap and water should always be used when:


  • Hands are visibly soiled

  • Hands have come in contact with body fluids

  • Caring for someone with diarrhoea and/or vomiting

  • Working where there is an outbreak of diarrhoeal disease, e.g. Norovirus or Clostridium difficile.


There are many resources available to campaign coordinators on the cleanyourhands website to assist in delivering these key messages. For example, there are short films on:


Don’t forget that Five Moments for hand hygiene resources include film clips and other material demonstrating application of the approach in different care settings; and there are pocket-sized staff leaflets that feature the Five Moments and hand cleaning techniques (available to order online by coordinators). 


If you need further clarification on best practice guidelines, please refer to the Alert on the NPSA website or contact us.


Show me the evidence!

An online searchable reference guide to key articles and papers used to inform the campaign’s design and implementation has been developed. Research into hand hygiene is still evolutionary and the list will continue to grow as we identify other relevant information.


The evidence base is available to all website users, and provides links to where the articles can be accessed.


To make it easier to locate the references you need, articles have been categorised by subject area:


  • Hand hygiene practice

  • Hand hygiene campaigns

  • Hand hygiene consumables

  • Evaluation & audit

  • Evidence reviews & analysis

  • Patient & public involvement

  • Role models

  • Guidelines & requirements


If you can’t find the evidence that you are looking for, please contact us, and we will try to help.


October’s article review 

Each month, Julie Storr and Ronald Jonga are providing an authoritative evaluation of a recent article on hand hygiene for the F1000 medicine website.


October’s article is entitled “Conspicuous vs. Customary Location of Hand Hygiene Agent Dispensers on Alcohol Hand Hygiene Product Usage in an intensive Care Unit” by Bruce W. Thomas, DO; Gina M. Berg-Copas, PhD; Donald G. Vasquez, DO, MPH; Brandy L. Jackson, RN; Ruth Wetta-Hall, RN, PhD, published in The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association; Volume 109, No 5,  May 2009, pp263-267.


The study was a prospective observational study conducted in an intensive care unit and explores whether placement of hand sanitizers in more conspicuous positions and closer proximity to patients would increase usage.

The review can be read in full at F1000 Medicine.