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York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust staff promoted good hand hygiene in a novel way when they took part in a torch relay with a difference.

Staff from the Trust took part in the 2016 Hand Hygiene Torch Tour.  Organised by the Infection Prevention Society, the tour aimed to highlight the importance of good hand hygiene to both healthcare staff and the public.  The torch has been touring the UK since 5 May, with healthcare organisations and NHS Trusts across the country, each being designated a ‘link day’ to hold the torch before passing it on to another health body.

The torch was passed to Anne Tateson, Infection Prevention nurse and lead for hand hygiene at the Trust, on Tuesday 27 September, along with members of the Infection Prevention Team and Nuffield Hospital colleagues.  The torch then continued on its way to Harrogate to kick off the infection prevention annual conference.

Anne explains, “The torch relay is a novel way of taking the good hand hygiene message across the country and reinforcing the importance of hygiene for both healthcare staff and members of the public.

“As we start to approach winter, we will start to see more viruses like flu or Norovirus, the diarrhoea and vomiting bug, circulating in the community.  Both of these viruses can be caught by touching contaminated surfaces and can leave otherwise healthy people feeling very poorly for several days.

“More crucially, if these kinds of virus are caught by people who are already unwell or have low immune systems, like a lot of people in hospital, it can be very dangerous.

“We need to fight infection together so it is vital that visitors help us when they come into our hospitals.  Clinical staff in our hospitals are trained in thorough handwashing techniques, but viruses can easily be brought into hospital by visitors.  The most common way germs are spread is by people’s hands.  Effective handwashing with soap and warm water is the single most important thing that anyone can do to help the spread of infections and help themselves and their loved ones.”

International Infection Prevention and Control Awareness Week takes place later this month (16-22 October) where organisations across the world focus on the various ways in which people can help stop the spread of infection to help save lives.

During the week the Infection Prevention Team at the Trust will be speaking to members of the public and staff at the Trust’s York Hospital, spreading the message on the various ways everyone can work together to keep infection at bay.

12 October 2016

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Staff from the Trust took part in the 2016 Hand Hygiene Torch Tour.  Organised by the Infection Prevention Society

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