If you want to avoid infection, the remedy is in your own hands. That is the key message of Infection Control Awareness Week, and a team of staff will be visiting locations across the district to help raise public awareness.

The South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, in partnership with Wakefield West Primary Care Trust, Eastern Wakefield Primary Care Trust and The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust, have organised the events. The team of Infection Control staff will be at the Ridings Shopping Centre in Wakefield on Tuesday May 7, Pontefract Market Place on Wednesday 8 May, and Carlton Lane Shopping Arcade in Castleford on Thursday 9 May. The displays can also be seen at the Pontefract and Wakefield Community Health Councils.

The events are being held as part of a national initiative run by the Infection Control Nurses Association (ICNA) to promote infection prevention and control. The displays will give information to the public on all aspects of preventing and controlling infections, from hand washing to infectious diseases, as well as explaining the role of Infection Control staff.

An ultra-violet box will be used in the display to demonstrate hand-washing skills. Members of the public will be able to wash their hands and see how effective their hand-washing is. As Dr Graham Sutton, Consultant in Public Health, points out "Washing your hands properly is a crucial defence against the millions of germs that may be trapped under your fingernails".

Activity sheets including colouring, crosswords and word-searches will be available throughout the days and there is also a free prize draw, where each day someone could win £50 Marks and Spencer vouchers. Harry Haribo will also be there giving out sweets and other freebies.

The team of staff include ‘Anthrax Andrew’, ‘Abscess Alison’, ‘Germy Jane’, ‘Jaundice Judith’ and ‘Licey Linda’. Sue Ross, Infection Control Nurse for the South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust, otherwise known as ‘Septic Sue’ said, ‘We’ll be on hand to offer advice and give information on all aspects of infection control and prevention. This is a subject that really does effect everyone and as such we all need a good basic awareness of the issues’.

For more information please contact Jude Corrigan at South West Yorkshire Mental Health NHS Trust on 01924 327689 or Sarah Fountain at Wakefield West Primary Care Trust on 213185.


time to read: 2 min