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. It is not just about washing your hands regularly but about learning to wash them properly.
(PRWeb UK) January 6, 2011
As the UK combats this years’ outbreak of seasonal flu and the winter bug season continues to take its toll, local NHS members behind the Give Soap a Chance campaign are urging the public to remain vigilant and to remember the importance of washing their hands properly.
The influenza season has begun and many people have been affected by the virus over the Christmas period. Most cases this year have been caused by influenza A/ H1N1, now established as the ‘normal’ form of seasonal flu. To prevent further transmission of the virus, the NHS has recommended strict adherence to infection control practices, especially hand hygiene.
Eileen Henderson, Assistant to the Medical Director at Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust, who is responsible for running the campaign, said: “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. It is not just about washing your hands regularly but about learning to wash them properly.”
Research shows that up to half of men and a quarter of women fail to wash their hands after going to the toilet, even though up to 10 billion bacteria are present between a person’s fingertip and elbow, with the number of germs doubling after using the bathroom.
Good hand hygiene is regarded as the single most cost-effective way of tackling infections spread by unclean hands. These include food poisoning and diarrhoea, viruses such as colds and flu, and more serious conditions such as MRSA.
It is only one year since Hull and East Yorkshire NHS Trust 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.
So far, Give Soap a Chance has attracted the support of over 80 major companies, including Smith & Nephew, 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.
“We could not have foreseen how successful Give Soap a Chance would be in such a short space of time,” said Eileen. “The public participation has been fantastic, but of course, the campaign goes on. With the current outbreaks of seasonal flu and the winter bug season having arrived, everyone has to remain vigilant.”