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Help stop germs spreading this winter

10 October 2012

As autumn arrives and bugs and germs start to thrive Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is encouraging everyone to ensure they keep their hands clean to stop germs from spreading ahead of Global Hand Washing Day (15 October 2012).

Hands are one of the biggest spreaders of germs.  Hand washing with warm water and soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent the spread of germs and infections.  Studies show it lowers the transmission of diarrhoea and colds both at work and home as well as in NHS facilities.

The NHS is asking everyone to wash their hands regularly during the day, using warm water and soap, to prevent spreading germs.  Hands should be washed after every trip to the toilet and before and after preparing food.

In addition those people who are visiting NHS facilities should follow instructions on hand hygiene by either using soap and water or hand gels provided. Anyone visiting patients should ensure their hands are cleaned before entering or leaving a ward or clinical area.

Helen Forrest, Lead Nurse - Infection Prevention and Control at Derby Hospitals, said: “The NHS wants everyone to stay fit and healthy this autumn and winter.  By preventing germs from circulating we can all play our part in helping to reduce the spread of flu, stomach bugs and other winter illnesses as well as healthcare associated infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile. By washing your hands with soap and water and making sure they’re dried properly you can significantly reduce the number of germs circulating and reduce your chances of getting ill.

“Reducing MRSA and Clostridium difficile in our hospitals is a top priority for us.  Over the past few years we’ve made incredible strides in reducing these infections, and we are determined to continue our zero tolerance approach. Infections are preventable and hand hygiene is the one of the best ways of helping tackle them.”

The NHS in the East Midlands is supporting Global Hand Washing Day on 15 October. This worldwide awareness day was created by the Global Public-Private Partnership for Hand washing in 2008 to:

• Foster and support a global culture of hand washing with soap.
• Shine a spotlight on the state of hand washing in every country.
• Raise awareness about the benefits of hand washing with soap.

For further information, please contact:

Paul Widdowfield
Communications Manager
Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
01332 786947

 Keep up-to-date with us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/DerbyHospitals

Notes to editors

For more information on how to keep your home or workplace free from germs please visit the NHS Choices website http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/homehygiene/pages/prevent-germs-from-spreading.aspx and http://www.nhs.uk/livewell/homehygiene/pages/food-and-home-hygiene-facts.aspx

For more information on Global Handwashing Day visit http://globalhandwashing.org/ghw-day

About Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust:

Derby Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust operates the Royal Derby Hospital, incorporating the Derbyshire Children’s Hospital, London Road Community Hospital and services in the community and some satellite services at other hospitals. The Derby Graduate Entry Medical School, on the Royal Derby Hospital site, is run in partnership with the University of Nottingham.

We pride ourselves on delivering high quality patient care. This has helped put us among the cleanest and safest hospitals in the country. Our vision is to continue to build on our achievements, through ‘Taking Pride in Caring’. We provide a wide range of services including specialist medical and surgical, maternity and fetal medicine, rehabilitation care and accident and emergency services. We have a total of 1,100 beds, many of which are single rooms for improved privacy and dignity for patients.