Inpatients encouraged to scrub up in fight against infection

Handwashing

Medical staff are being told to “think pink” to beat the bugs in the latest infection-busting project at Southampton’s teaching hospitals.

The initiative comes just days after Southampton University Hospitals NHS Trust was named the best acute trust in the country for tackling superbug MRSA by the Department of Health.

Infection prevention experts have been touring wards to promote use of a special disinfectant body wash during the Trust’s own MRSA Awareness Week.

The pink disinfectant body wash has already been introduced at Southampton General and Princess Anne hospitals, but it is hoped increasing awareness will encourage more patients to use it.

The week has involved highlighting the Trust’s MRSA policy, which includes the screening of patients for the superbug and supplying them with the disinfectant body wash to reduce the risk of infection during their hospital stay.

Departments are being asked to encourage regular and correct use of the wash in clinical areas, with spot checks carried out to ensure compliance with the risk reduction washes.

Julie Brooks, infection prevention matron, said: “We are committed to reducing the risk of infection at our hospitals and, by getting out around the wards, we can emphasise directly the importance of getting patients to use the body wash.”

The Trust is one of eight Showcase Hospitals within the UK currently evaluating the implementation of new equipment with the potential to fight infection and will soon begin trialling new hi-tech hospital furniture launched by the Design Council.

Figures for 2009/10 show cases of MRSA dropped 74% from 27 to seven, while incidences of Clostridium difficile decreased by 51% from 289 to 143.

Posted on Friday 11 June 2010