NHS Greater Glasgow is to launch a high profile education and awareness campaign to further reduce the levels of hospital acquired infections and MRSA in particular.
The initiative comes as the latest MRSA infection rates show a significant decline in Glasgow hospitals. In 2003/04 MRSA surveillance figures have gone down by around 20% compared to the previous year. This downward trend is very welcome and results from determined efforts by NHS staff working closely with their infection control teams.
The NHS campaign in Glasgow aims to re-double efforts to further drive down hospital infections. The message at the core of campaign is that it will take awareness and effort on the part of everyone to deliver further reductions in HAIs.
A hard-hitting poster campaign in hospitals, health centres and in the community will reinforce the hygiene message to be rolled out across the city during November. Some will directly address NHS staff with messages such as "Clean hands, clean conscience". Others will directly address the public with messages such as "Give your loved one a helping hand – not an infection".
A series of new user friendly information leaflets for staff and public will be made widely available in healthcare settings. The posters will also carry the message "We want to hear any ideas or concerns you might have about infection control measures" along with contact information for either local hospital infection control teams or Greater Glasgow Health Board's Public Health department.
Other measures include:
· The launch of a new gold-standard infection control manual for all Glasgow's acute hospitals;
· Public and staff information leaflets on both MRSA and other infections;
· Specially organised hand hygiene workshops for NHS staff including doctors;
· Web-based best practice teaching/information modules on the Greater Glasgow's NHS website www.nhsgg.org.uk
Dr Syed Ahmed, consultant in public health medicine, said: "The downward trend in MRSA rates is very welcome and results from determined efforts to tackle healthcare associated infection rates across Glasgow's hospitals. Every possible effort to further improve infection rates will be implemented with enthusiasm and determination.
"The aim of the campaign is to raise awareness of MRSA and other hospital associated infections, how they are transferred and most importantly how we can all work together to reduce them. We are re-doubling our efforts with this unprecedented level of campaigning to drive down infection rates and boost public confidence in their health service."
NHS Greater Glasgow's Chairman, Professor Sir John Arbuthnott said: "Hospital acquired infections are not new. As a medical microbiologist I have for more than 40 years been aware of the increasing seriousness of the problem. The commonest cause is staphylococcus aureus (a form of bacteria that causes boils and internal abscesses), which can cause serious infection.Initially very few strains were resistant to penicillin but since then the organism has acquired a host of genes that make it resistant to most antibiotics and the most serious example of this is MRSA. "We must all remain on high alert to the threat from MRSA and that is why NHS Greater Glasgow is launching this hard hitting campaign to ensure that all hospital staff, patients and visitors are aware of the risks and the control measures that must be observed.We will regularly monitor the effectiveness of this initiative. There is no room for complacency."
Note for editors/picture editors:
Two of the posters to be used in the campaign are available in PDF or EPS format and are downloadable from the NHS Greater Glasgow website:
Nurse Poster - PDF, EPS & JPG
Child Patient Poster - PDF, EPS & JPG
Further information contact Communications on 0141 201 4429.