North East Ambulance Service cleans up in Hand Hygiene Awards

Monday, 18 April, 2011

Left to right- Christine McManus, Steve McManus and Gareth Campbell from NEAS receive their award from Deborah Freeman from Deb

The North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) has won the first prize of £2000 in the Deb Hand Hygiene Awards.

NEAS beat off competition from other entrants from around the country for its commitment to hand hygiene.

Judges were impressed with the wide range of activities that NEAS' Infection Prevention and Control team has carried out to deliver improvements in this area since 2008. This has included:
• Placing alcohol hand rub dispensers in all A & E and patient transport vehicles

• Providing staff with alcohol hand rub for personal use and clips to attach these to uniforms, enabling staff to perform hand hygiene at the point of patient care

• Improving hand hygiene training for staff

• Raising awareness through placing the national Clean Your Hands campaign posters on trust sites, including articles in the staff newsletter and sending out information leaflets to all clinical staff Christine McManus, Infection Prevention and Control Lead at NEAS said:

"All of our vehicles are now fitted with handwash dispensers, and our crews have all been issued with alcohol gel clipped to their uniform, so that even when staff are at the scene of an emergency, they can still ensure that infection control standards are maintained."

Ann Fox, Director of Clinical Care and Patient Safety at NEAS, said:

"The ambulance service has an important role to play in the region's health service and ensuring that patients receive safe and high quality care. Maintaining high standards of hand hygiene saves lives as it reduces the risk of cross infection and helps to prevent the spread of superbugs such as MRSA.

"It's fantastic that we have achieved this award recognising the continued commitment of our staff in both patient transport and accident and emergency crews to hand hygiene and patient safety."

NEAS will be reinvesting the prize money in their infection control programme to ensure that they continue to maintain high standards of hand hygiene and cleanliness.

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