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National Patient Safety Agency

Cleaning up at the awards

30 June 2008


The National Patient Safety Agency’s (NPSA’s) cleanyourhands campaign has won the award for Strategic Communication Campaign of the year at the fourth annual Good Communication Awards.


The ceremony, sponsored by O2, was held at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium on Thursday (26 June), and aimed to promote the public sector’s efforts in working towards effective communication with its staff and the public.


In particular, the Strategic Communications Campaign award honoured the Local Authority or Government organisation whose communications strategy had delivered significant changes in public awareness and customer behaviour in the last year.


BBC News anchor Peter Sissons presented the award.


The cleanyourhands campaign aims to help combat the spread of preventable healthcare associated infections, such as MRSA and Clostridium Difficile. Staff are prompted to clean their hands at the critical time and place – where and when patient care is provided.


Speaking of the result, campaign lead Katherine Wilson said:


“Receiving this reward is a huge compliment to the campaign and our efforts. Having been in operation since 2004, we now have all NHS hospitals in England and Wales signed up and are going from strength to strength.


“By regularly updating our publicity and guidance materials, we have ensured that hand hygiene remains a high priority among healthcare workers. Our design for Year Three is intentionally bolder, using black and white images of real hands and hard hitting facts to communicate the importance of this in the fight against infection.


“However the campaign isn’t just about its materials – it’s about providing practical support and promoting the idea that each individual is personally responsible for the delivery of safe, clean care”.


Since the NPSA launched cleanyourhands in September 2004, independent research shows that the campaign has been effective in changing hand hygiene behaviour in acute NHS hospitals in Wales and England, with a significant rise in alcohol handrub and soap usage.


Winning this award comes days after the campaign’s successful launch in Northern Ireland and just ahead of celebrations for the 60th Anniversary of the NHS.



Notes for editors:


  1. Media enquiries to Paul Cooney in the NPSA Communications Department on 020 7927 9351 or paul.cooney@npsa.nhs.uk.

  2. The cleanyourhands campaign is a four year campaign which aims to improve the hand hygiene of healthcare workers and help the NHS tackle healthcare associated infections. Since its launch in 2004, the campaign has been adopted by all NHS acute trusts in England and Wales, has more than doubled the rate of hand-hygiene, and is in the process of being extended to primary care, mental health, care and ambulance trusts as well as care homes and hospices. For more information on the campaign click here

  3. A range of resources have been developed to support the campaign, including posters for wards, signs to direct to highlight hand-cleaning facilities, leaflets for patients and healthcare workers and an implementation handbook, designed to educate, prompt and enable healthcare workers to clean their hands at the right time, every time.

  4. For more information on the ongoing independent evaluation (NOSEC study) of the campaign in England and Wales click here.

  5. The National Patient Safety Agency encompasses the National Research Ethics Service, Patient Safety Division and the National Clinical Assessment Service. Our vision is to lead and contribute to improved, safe patient care by informing, supporting and influencing healthcare individuals and organisations. Each division works within its sphere of expertise to improve patient outcomes.