Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe is one of three hospitals in the country piloting a new hygiene campaign to tackle the spread of superbugs in health centres.
The HSE’s Hand Hygiene Train the Trainer and Hand Hygiene Awareness Programme (Resist) aims to encourage proper hand cleaning among staff, patients, and visitors at hospitals to stop antibiotic resistant superbugs from spreading.
Resist is a new health service initiative to reduce infection and antimicrobial resistance in our health facilities.
It is being introduced in hospitals and community services all over the country, backed by the HSE Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control programme (AMRIC).
In public hospitals, aside from Portiuncula Hospital the new programme is being introduced at Cavan General Hospital and University Hospital Limerick.
James Keane General Manager at Portiuncula, said that the entire hospital staff are united in their goal to stop the spread of infection.
“We are delighted to be part of this new HSE awareness programme, Resist which will further highlight the importance of hand hygiene thoroughly to prevent the spread of infection and protect patients, visitors and staff”.
The message for hospital staff is that cleaning your hands properly at the right time is one of the simplest things you can do to save you, your family and your co-workers from becoming ill and reducing the spread of illnesses such as tummy bugs, coughs, colds, and even superbugs.
Helen Lemass, the Nurse Specialist in Infection Prevention and Control at Portiuncula said that proper hygiene is crucial to stopping the spread of infections which can be life-threatening to patients.
“Both patients and visitors have an important role to play in reducing the spread of infection in the hospital and good hand hygiene is one of the easiest ways to do that.”
She says that anyone visiting a hospital should clean their hands on a regular basis and make liberal use of the alcoholic gel available.
On top of that patients should avoid sharing personal items such as phones or earphones that could spread germs with other patients.
Lastly she emphasised that it is okay top ask staff to clean their hands or to point out something that isn’t clean.
Professor Martin Cormican, HSE National Lead for Antibiotic Resistance said “Proper hand hygiene is such a critical issue for all of us both at home and in our health services.”
“This hand hygiene awareness programme is an important part of the HSE’s work with the Department of Health to progress Ireland’s National Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance.”