Nothing would seem more simple than washing your hands to prevent the spread of infections and yet so many of us do not do it. We wanted a name that would sum up this campaign and make people sit up and listen, and Give Soap a Chance really caught on.
(PRWeb UK) November 25, 2010
A local hand washing campaign that attracted the attention of Whitehall, reached an international audience and even appeared in the wards of Casualty could be rolled out to benefit schools, local authorities and businesses nationwide.
It is only one year since Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust, a national leader in tackling healthcare infections, launched Give Soap a Chance into the local community. In that short space of time, healthcare professionals estimate that tens of thousands of local people have benefited, whilst nationally, a host of key business, political and charitable players have offered support. Now, it is being promoted as a blueprint for tackling the spread of infections right across the country.
Eileen Henderson, Assistant to the Medical Director at Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust, who is responsible for running the campaign, explained: “Nothing would seem more simple than washing your hands to prevent the spread of infections and yet so many of us do not do it. We wanted a name that would sum up this campaign and make people sit up and listen, and Give Soap a Chance really caught on.”
The aim of the campaign was encourage everyone to wash their hands properly and more often through the media, through schools and businesses and online with the production of a website, Give Soap A Chance Website
“We felt it was important that Give Soap a Chance was supported with business and education packs, whilst hand-washing demonstrations and presentations attracted crowds in shopping centres, business conferences and schools throughout the region.
“Local employers were contacted by letter, quoting regional statistics which highlighted the number of working days lost to them through infections, and invited them to sign up to an online campaign to tackle the problem and, ultimately, save them money. They then received a business pack containing certificates, leaflets, stickers and posters to put up within the workplace to encourage their employees to wash their hands.”
This was followed by an online school pack, meeting national curriculum requirements, which has been designed specifically for use by children between the ages of four and six, and introduces a series of cartoon-style characters known as the ‘Clean Team’.
Hundreds of people took part in NHS hand washing demonstrations in the city’s largest shopping centres to mark Global Hand Hygiene Day, and even children’s favourites the Tweenies were enlisted to show youngsters how to wash their hands properly during a visit to Hull New Theatre.
So far, Give Soap a Chance has attracted the support of over 80 major companies, including Comet, Lush and Sainsbury’s, attention from local, regional and national media, support from the national charity MRSA Action UK, adoption and high praise from Whitehall officials.
Eileen Henderson continued:
“We could not have foreseen how successful Give Soap a Chance would be in such a short space of time. The public participation has been fantastic and schools and businesses are really taking the message on board and running with it. Of course, the campaign goes on and we are entering winter bug season so everyone has to be vigilant.
“From our own experience, we cannot stress what an effect this campaign has on infection rates in local communities when people take it to heart. That’s why we are making the whole package available to businesses and local authorities throughout the country. There are so many people who are aware that this campaign works and they want to adopt it, if that is where the momentum is, then we are happy to help.”
For more information about the Give Soap a Chance packs, contact Eileen Henderson on (01482) 604304 or visit the ‘Give Soap a Chance’ website on Give Soap A Chance Website