Paul Bentley, Interim Chief Executive at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals said: “This is welcome news and comes in advance of the Healthcare Commission annual Health Check ratings which are due to be published later this week. We’ve learnt from the experience and we took immediate action to rectify the issues identified by the Commission. Our work was completed by the end of July.”

“We take our responsibilities to protect patients from infections very seriously. At Ashford and St. Peter’s we encourage all visitors to help us combat infections by cleansing their hands when they enter the hospital. Gel dispensing facilities are provided in all the major entrances and at the entrance to every Ward. However we know that for C. difficile gel alone is not effective and everyone must cleanse their hands with soap and water as well. This is applicable if hands are visibly dirty or if the patient has been experiencing vomiting or diarrhoea, then the healthcare staff must wash their hands with liquid soap and water. Our staff are well aware of the need to cleanse their hands between every patient and every procedure and do not mind patients challenging them on whether they have cleansed their hands – indeed we actively encourage this.”

Initiatives introduced by the Infection Control Team at both Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospitals to combat Healthcare Acquired Infections (HCAIs) include:

  • ‘Clean Your Hands’ campaign with gel dispensing machines and signage placed at entrances throughout both hospital sites
  • ‘talking frames’ near ward and clinical areas which are activated by movement and remind people to cleanse their hands;
  • introduction of the Microfibre cleaning system at Ashford Hospital;
  • a review of Antibiotic prescribing guidelines and employment of a dedicated antibiotics pharmacist;
  • a review of the widely used Infection Control Manual and the introduction of Infection Control ‘outbreak packs’ to wards and clinical areas enabling them to quickly implement additional infection control measures when they are needed.