NHS Trust chief calls for infection prevention priority this winter

NHS Trust chief calls for infection prevention priority this winter

The importance of effective hand washing – particularly with norovirus prevention

Keeping up the momentum from the recent International Infection Prevention Week is imperative as the onset of winter approaches – and the associated increase in illnesses that will challenge healthcare facilities and staff over the coming months, according to a recent report on the Wirral Globe website

The author of the report is the chief executive of Wirral Community Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust Karen Howell, urges everyone to take the “simple steps” that can make such a difference with the minimising of infection spread.

Howell, drawing on the extensive experience of the Trust Infection Prevention and Control Team, advocates “self-care” whereby maintaining an active lifestyle – particularly out of doors – can be hugely beneficial. It is also important to connect with others by socialising, including checking up on vulnerable friends and neighbours.

At the heart of the potential problem will be respiratory illnesses such as Covid and flu says the report. Buy be warned – there is no “quick fix” from antibiotics.

“Antibiotics aren’t always the answer, and antibiotic resistance remains one of the biggest threats facing us today.”

Furthermore, they “do not work” for viral infections such as flu, colds and coughs.

A nurse washing hands with a MediWash at a ward entrance
A nurse washing hands with a MediWash at a ward entrance

Prevention is better than cure – the importance of handwashing

Effective hand hygiene is the easiest way to minimise occurrences of these winter ailments writes Howell.

“Wash your hands more frequently and for at least 20 seconds. Thoroughly sanitise or wash your hands when you get home, before you eat and after coughing or sneezing.”

One of the other threats that the season tends to offer up is that of norovirus. This can only be controlled by soap and water hand washing.

“Remember to always wash your hands after using the toilet, using soap and water – alcohol hand sanitisers do not kill Norovirus!”

“Prioritise infection prevention this winter” »

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