Winter is here, so is the chaos of ward closures


Pure Hold Hygiene Handle helps to restrict the spread of hospital infections

Each year norovirus and winter flu grab the headlines, with particular attention paid to their effects on hospitals and healthcare facilities as wards are forced to close and patients are kept waiting.

Annual campaigns highlight the need to wash hands and to avoid visiting hospitals if ill, advice that is often ignored by the public who simply do not understand the importance of good hand hygiene. Consequently infection rates remain high in winter months and trusts are stretched to cope with the demand for beds.

Earlier this year the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) issued quality standards on measures including hand hygiene after they found that 1 in 16 patients in NHS hospitals fell ill with an infection. Findings from the National Patient Safety Association (NPSA) also found that a 9% reduction in infection rates as a result of improved hand hygiene could save the NHS £140m per annum and, most importantly, save 450 lives.

Is it time to focus on enforcing hand hygiene compliance rather than simply encouraging it through posters and campaigns?

The Pure Hold Hygiene Handle does just this – it ensures users sanitise their hands as they open the door. Independent laboratory testing and field trials have proven that the Hygiene Handles are 98.5% cleaner than a standard door handle and users of the system at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth were shown to achieve 87.5% cleaner hands than those who didn’t use the system.

The gel is highly effective and has been proven to kill murine norovirus and achieve similar results to hand washing.

This is why NHS trusts in Leeds and London have taken further steps to maintain patient safety by implementing additional Pure Hold Hygiene Handles across wards.

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust and the University Hospitals Lewisham NHS Trust in south east London have handles installed across a number of sites, including sensitive areas such as neo-natal intensive care wards (NICU) and various intensive care units (ICUs). The University Hospitals Lewisham NHS Trust is also looking to expand its hand hygiene campaign for this year by installing additional Pure Hold Hygiene Handles. Another NHS trust, University College London Hospitals, has handles installed across all wards.

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The Pure Hold Hygiene Handles are a proven resource in the fight to improve standards of hand hygiene in hospitals. They help to prevent the spread of infection, reducing the number of wards closed due to outbreaks and ultimately saving lives. The system can be trialled at absolutely no cost to the trust or taxpayer, so it’s hoped that more hospitals will be pro-active and trial the technology this winter.