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The World Health Organisation’s (WHO) “SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands Day” occurred on 5 May 2010. The WHO event encouraged health-care facilities to take part in a global observation survey by ensuring hand hygiene was at a suitable level before touching a patient (hand hygiene moment one). To coincide with this important event, NHS Kirklees’ Community Infection Prevention and Control team chose to launch a patient survey focusing on the public and their experiences of healthcare. The team were interested in obtaining your feedback about the standards of hand hygiene practice and the quality of the healthcare environments throughout Kirklees. It was anticipated that the survey would highlight issues relating to the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections, and that it would raise public awareness regarding standards of practice which the public should expect. On 5 May 2010 NHS Kirklees IP&CT launched the questionnaire during an exhibition held healthcare centre within Kirklees. On the day a total of 60 pilot questionnaires were completed. An additional 4,410 questionnaires have been distributed locally and these completed forms are now being returned. The findings of the pilot survey are as follows: Question 1. When did you last visit a health-care professional (GP/Nurse/Dentist)? There were 60 respondents to this question. • • • •

39% of the public stated that they were reflecting on a visit that had taken place within the past week 11% two weeks prior and 18% a month ago 31% of respondents chose to reflect on a care episode that was undertaken longer than a month ago.

Question 2. What type of health-care professional did you see? Some respondents indicated that they had had more than one care episode resulting in a total of 86 visits being accounted for. Of those: • • • • •

48% had attended their GP 7% with their dentist 16% a practice nurse 3% had seen a district nurse A further 13% had been to a health visitor clinic

The final category of “other” accounted for 13%. These were mainly health professionals such as satellite consultant clinics and physiotherapists.

Question 3. In which area did you visit the health-care professional? Dewsbury was the main locality stated, however this is a reflection of where the exhibition was held. We anticipate that the postal survey will provide feedback from across the whole of Kirklees. Question 4. Advice for health-care professionals is to be bare-below the elbows; this was identified to the respondent. Was this the case when you saw this health-care professional? Three of the 60 participants chose not to answer this question. Of those who answered: • • •

37% expressed that their health-care provider had followed the recommended uniform advice 19% fed back negatively 44% of those who responded indicated that they had not noticed whether the health-care provider was bare-below the elbows or not. It is hoped that this question to the public may be the catalyst that enables them to review this practice on their next visit. It may also identify the need for additional focused activity with health-care providers.

Question 5. The appropriate methods for hand cleansing used by health-care professionals before and after examination had taken place was highlighted. Was this the case when you saw this health-care professional? • • • •

1 person chose not to answer this question 68% had observed their clinician undertaking hand cleansing during their consultation 13% had experienced a consultation where their health-professional did not perform the correct hand hygiene technique 19% stated that they did not notice.

Question 6. Was the waiting area clean and tidy? All participants provided an answer to this question: •

98% of the public indicated that they were happy with cleanliness in the waiting area.

Question 7. Was the clinical room clean and tidy? One person chose not to respond to this question. Of those who responded: • • •

95% responded positively 2% stated that this was not the case in their experience 3% of respondents stated that they had not used these facilities.

Question 8. Were the toilets clean? All participants answered this question: • • •

53% of respondents indicated that they were happy with the cleanliness of the toilet 2% expressed concern 45% indicated that they had not used the facility.

Question 9. Were the sinks in the toilet areas clean? All participants answered this question: • • •

57% raised no concerns 2% stated that this was not the case in their experience 44% did not use the facility.

Question 10. Were paper towels and soap available in the toilet areas?

All participants answered this question: • • •

53% indicated yes 2% indicated no 45% indicated that they had not used the facility.

Question 11. Do you feel there are adequate hand washing facilities available at your GP practice/dental practice/health centre? Five participants chose not to answer this question. Of those who responded: • • •

76% indicated that they were happy with the facilities available 9% indicated that they felt that there was inadequate facilities 15% were unsure.

Question 12. Have you recently had any concerns about a health-care professionals hand hygiene? Three participants chose not to answer. Of those who responded: • •

2% expressed that they had had some concern The remaining 98% responded positively.

Question 13. Are you aware of how to feedback any comments that you might have about infection control/hand hygiene issues? Three participants chose not to answer this question. responded: • • •

Of those who

46% stated that they were aware of how to raise issues 24% of those who completed the survey indicated that they were unaware of how to report their concerns 30% stated that they were unsure.

Question 14.

Do you have any other comments about infection control or hand hygiene practice? A male respondent reflected on his experience upon visiting his wife who was an in-patient in a local care setting: “I am concerned regarding levels of cleanliness in hospitals, time restrictions and staffing levels compromise standards”. A female respondent highlighted that: “those of us who are aware of the need for this will use hand sanitizers, etc. But perhaps more awareness is needed”. The results of the survey are to be used to improve infection control and hand hygiene practice throughout Kirklees. Final results will be fed back to the public via the internet, through local media and also at exhibitions which will be taking place during the National Infection Prevention and Control Week in October, 2010. These events will give the team an opportunity to demonstrate to the public the activities that are being consistently undertaken by NHS Kirklees to reduce the risk of infections associated with care in these settings.

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