To celebrate the World Health Organisation’s hand hygiene day, which takes place on Saturday 5 May, our infection prevention and control (IPC) eam visited our forensic services on a covert mission.
Prior to morning staff coming into work, the team dusted areas that people touch a lot such as door handles, table tops, and keyboards with ultra violet detection dust. Once touched the dust remains on fingers and hands which is invisible to the naked eye, but can be seen by using an ultraviolet flash light. The team then left forensics for a couple of hours, returning when day staff had started their shift.
When they returned they asked the staff to put their hands under the flashlight to see whether any residue from the areas was still on their hands. Every one of the people who took part had the detection dust on their hands and were surprised and intrigued as to where they had been exposed.
One staff member said: “I really do wash my hands thoroughly, but this shows me that I need to take extra care”, with another commenting: “It just goes to show how easy it is to pick up and pass things on. You just don’t realise”. The IPC team reminded staff about our bare below the elbow rules and demonstrated the right way to wash your hands and maintain good hand hygiene.
The team visited various wards on the medium secure unit promoting our hand hygiene message ‘Save lives, clean your hands – it’s in your hands to prevent sepsis in healthcare’. Find out more about the World Health Organisation’s campaign.