Three new handwashing kiosks have been installed in the main entrance to Hull Royal Infirmary in a bid to help healthcare workers win the fight against infection this winter.
Having reported its first ward closure due to Norovirus last week, and as footfall in the region’s hospitals begins to increase, health professionals from Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust are looking to make it as easy as possible for hospital visitors to help reduce the spread of infection.
Louise Dalby, Infection Control Nurse for the Trust’s Infection Prevention and Control Team explains: “As we head into winter, we always see an increase in the number of viral respiratory infections, and these infections are spread easily through coughing, sneezing and simply touching objects contaminated with the virus.
“Whilst most healthy people are able to shake off mild respiratory infections in a few days, for people who are ill in hospital or who have weakened immune systems, catching another infection on top of a pre-existing health problem can be serious.
“At the same time, we are now starting to see an increase in reported cases of Norovirus, the winter sickness bug which causes vomiting and diarrhoea. This can also be easily spread by poor hand hygiene if people touch surfaces contaminated with the virus.
“Healthcare staff are regularly trained and assessed in infection control and prevention techniques such as handwashing, but it’s equally as important for others who are spending time on our wards and in our departments to play their part in reducing the spread of infection too.”
Louise continues: “The three new handwashing stations which we’ve had installed near to the lifts are designed to be really bright and in-your-face, so you can’t help but notice them as you walk by or wait to go up to the wards.
“They are similar in design to those in the new Children’s Emergency Department which have proved really popular, featuring two big hand prints which are initially lit up in red. Once handwashing has occurred, the “hands” will turn green. It’s a simple step, but hopefully by encouraging more visitors to practice basic hand hygiene, we can reduce the pressure on our hospital services this winter and keep more of our patients, visitors and staff fit and well.”