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Right Arrow Think Clean Week – new action for cleaner, safer hospitals - PR//0405
25 February 2005 at 13:09
National NHS Think Clean Day will take place in trusts across the country on Monday 28 February. It is designed to promote a team approach to cleaning and infection control and demonstrate what can be achieved in a short length of time.

Because Southport & Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust consider cleaning and infection control one of its top priorities, we have decided to extend Think Clean Day to Think Clean Week. Modern Matrons Shirley Coward and Sheena Walker, Lynne Shaw Hotel Services Manager and the Infection Control Team are heading the campaign within the Trust.

The learning from the week will be used to inform longer term planning which is central to tackling MRSA and other healthcare-associated infections and improving standards of hygiene across the NHS.

“Trusts are being asked to bring together staff from both clinical and non-clinical departments to undertake an audit of at least one ward or department looking at the environment and identifying any problems areas, “ said Joanne Baines, Specialist Nurse in Infection Control. “We will be carrying out 16 audits throughout the week at both Hospitals in Southport and Ormskirk. The groups then have to try to remedy as many problems as possible at the time or if they can’t, develop an action plan to deal with longer-term problems.”

The Department of Health hopes trusts will use the audits as a spur to longer-term action and that staff in all disciplines will work together effectively and see that everyone has a part to play in cleanliness and infection control.

“Another initiative we are carrying out is to “Ditch the Junk”, added Shirley Coward Paediatric Service Manager and Matron. “This involves identifying pieces of equipment that are no longer needed and getting rid of them. The aim is to reduce the amount of clutter in the hospitals, so making it easier to keep them clean.”

The Think Clean Day is an initiative between local trusts, the Department of Health, UNISON, and other key partners including the Royal College of Nursing, to raise the profile and importance of hygiene issues in hospitals.
But it is just one part of an ongoing, and much bigger, stream of work towards achieving cleaner hospitals. For example The Matron's Charter: An Action Plan for Cleaner Hospitals that was launched last October.

Last July, plans were published to cut the level of healthcare-associated infections like MRSA and improve general hygiene standards. Towards Cleaner Hospitals and Lower Rates of Infection set out clear action for the Department of Health and NHS including cleanliness inspections by patient forums and a new target for reducing MRSA rates year-on-year for every acute trust. • New guidance to ensure hospitals have clear and binding contracts to deliver high standards of cleaning was published in December.

Notes to Editors

Issued by Matthew King, Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust.

Enquiries to: Matthew King Tel: 01704 704714