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Launch of cleanyourhands campaign Phase 2

2010-06-23

The launch of cleanyourhands campaign Phase 2 – hand hygiene in primary and community healthcare settings.

Launch of cleanyourhands campaign Phase 2 – hand hygiene in primary and community healthcare settings The Public Health Agency (PHA) is launching the second phase of the cleanyourhands hand-hygiene campaign to primary and community healthcare settings across Northern Ireland. The cleanyourhands campaign extension will be launched today from the Northern Ireland Children’s Hospice, Newtownabbey.

Extension of the cleanyourhands campaign is being taken forward, following the successful launch of Phase 1 of the campaign in Health and Social Care Trusts in 2008. Phase 2 will now see this campaign extended to include primary care and dental services, residential and nursing homes (including independent sector homes), hospices and independent hospitals.

Dr Lorraine Doherty, Assistant Director of Public Health (Health Protection), PHA said;

“This extension of the cleanyourhands campaign will further complement and strengthen the excellent results that have been achieved by the campaign so far and bring home the importance of hand hygiene, in the prevention and control of HCAIs.”

Dr Doherty continued,” the prevention of HCAI is just as important for healthcare providers in primary care, the independent and voluntary sectors as it is for healthcare providers in the acute setting. Hospital staff have really engaged with the cleanyourhands campaign. Now we are seeking to replicate this commitment outside hospitals not only to prompt staff of hand hygiene but also to emphasise the importance of hand hygiene to patients and visitors. This campaign is about reinforcing the message that good hand hygiene is absolutely vital in the prevention of infection. Staff and visitors are being reminded that the benefits of the simple act of cleaning your hands should not be underestimated and that by just taking a minute to stop and clean your hands you are making a vital contribution to the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections.”

Speaking in support of the campaign, Health Minister Michael McGimpsey said:

“It is the collective responsibility of everyone – healthcare workers and the public – to be proactive in preventing the spread of infections. The simple act of cleaning your hands is paramount in ensuring this is controlled. I would urge everyone to follow the simple guidelines of good hand hygiene, whether in a health care environment or in the home. The second phase launch of the ‘Clean Your Hands’ campaign today across all community healthcare settings reinforces this message.”

Each cleanyourhands campaign pack includes, posters, staff cards and patient leaflets for display and distribution within GP practices, dental services, nursing and residential homes, hospices and independent hospitals. These materials are aimed primarily at healthcare staff, to draw their attention visually to the occasions when hand washing or the use of handrubs is required. Changing behaviour takes time and requires continual prompting until it becomes a habit. Display of the materials will help to reinforce the right action at the right time, in the right place.

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