Hand hygiene gels underused by hospital ward visitors

27th of April 2012
Hand hygiene gels underused by hospital ward visitors

Hospital visitors may be ignoring vital hand hygiene advice, according to an inspection team.

When a Scottish hospital was recently assessed for hygiene compliance, inspectors found that hand gels supplied by the hospital were being used by fewer than half of all visitors.

However, the majority of staff were observed to be regularly washing their hands and using the hand gel.

The report noted: "We were informed that a recent audit of visitor hand-hygiene practice had been carried out by public representatives in Galloway Community Hospital. The results of the audit highlighted that only 40 per cent of visitors visiting the Garrick ward used the hand gel available."

Officials from the Healthcare Environment Inspectorate made an unannounced inspection of the hospital to assess its accident and emergency department plus two wards and the renal unit.

Leaflets and posters warning about infections and promoting hand hygiene were readily available at the hospital. Overall, inspectors found that the hospital complied with the majority of measures to protect patients, staff and visitors from the risk of infection. Staff adhered to the dress code and the hospital had a good standard of cleaning.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway welcomed the report and said it had set out an action plan to make further improvements.


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