As part of a new uniform policy, other staff involved in direct patient care will also wear short sleeves and will be required to remove wrist watches and wrist jewellery.
Tracey Nutter, Director of Nursing said: "Although infection rates at Salisbury District Hospital remain low, we are always reviewing our policies and procedures and introducing measures that help prevent the spread of infection."
"Infections such as MRSA and Clostridium Difficile can be passed on by human contact. They can also live for a while on equipment or clothes. Nursing staff are the key staff group where scrubs could make a real difference to our infection prevention and control procedures. This is because, unlike most other staff groups, they have that very close regular contact with patients."
Nursing staff will wear a clean pair of tunic and trouser style scrubs at the start of each shift, with used sets washed daily at very high temperatures using an industrial process in the Trust's on-site laundry. Staff will not be able to wear scrubs outside the hospital.
Tracey Nutter said: "As part of the new uniform policy, other staff will be required to wear short sleeves when involved in direct patient care. In the meantime, we will explore what benefits we could gain from expanding scrubs and whether we can introduce them for other staff groups in the future."
As part of its ongoing commitment to infection prevention control at Salisbury District Hospital, regular campaigns will continue to ensure that staff, patients and visitors use alcohol gels to limit the possible spread of MRSA and are aware that soap and water should be used against Clostridium Difficile." Ends
Notes to editors
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: The Media are invited to see the new scrubs uniforms on MONDAY, JANUARY 14. Please contact Patrick Butler (details below) if you would like to attend and receive further details by 3pm Friday, 11 January 2008.
Please note that because this will take place in a ward area space is tight and access to cover this event on the day may be limited.
MRSA is a common germ carried in the nose and on the skin. It is prevalent in the community and about a third of the population carries the germ without it causing harm to themselves or others. However, it can cause a serious infection if it enters and travels deep into a wound. MRSA is known to be passed on through direct contact and alcohol gel rubs are available throughout the hospital for staff, visitors and patients.
Clostridium Difficile is a bacteria that normally lives in the intestine (Gut). Up to 5% of the population are thought to carry this without any problems. It is usually kept in check by other bacteria in the intestines that are normally present in the gut. The bacteria forms spores which are excreted in the faeces when a person has diarrhoea. These spores can be transferred to other patients via contaminated hands or equipment. Handwashing with soap and water is the most effective way of preventing the spread of Clostridium Difficile.
The Trust promotes regular hand washing for staff, visitors and patients to help minimise risk and provides a range of information around infection prevention and control for patients and their visitors before the patient comes into hospital.
Stringent infection control measures and responsive action by the infection prevention and control team also helps reduce the risk to patients on Salisbury District Hospital wards. This includes isolation for patients known to have an infection such as MRSA or Clostridium Difficile.
For further information please contact:
Patrick Butler, Public Relations Manager, Salisbury NHS Foundation Trust, SP2 8BJ. Tel: 01722 425170