At last…. a modicum of sense in a hospital initiative! A bright spark has figured out that the more people you have traipsing through an area then the more opportunities there are to import and spread infection.
The BBC in this story – BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Hospitals to reduce visitor hours – reports on the Southern Health Board trial:-
“Acute hospitals in the Southern Health Trust are to reduce visiting hours in a bid to reduce infection.
Health Minister Michael McGimpsey launched the initiative at Craigavon Area Hospital on Friday. Newry’s Daisy Hill Hospital will also be affected.
The number of visitors admitted to see each patient is also to be restricted.
The trust hopes the policy will reduce the number of infections, especially those caused by so-called superbugs like MRSA and C-Difficile.
Mr McGimpsey said: “Visitors to hospitals, as well as staff, play a vital role in combating infections. I would ask all visitors to familiarise themselves with the policy and follow basic hygiene measures such as washing their hands upon entering and leaving wards.”
The health minister said it was crucial to strike a balance between the rights of patients and the need to speed recovery times. “
I reckon this move can only help in this particular fight. It seems common sense that when people are at a low ebb they need some protection from the common germs and bacteria that abound on our hands, shoes and clothes. When we are healthy bugs are no match for us but bugs are designed to strike at the first sign of weakness. We do well to protect the sick from friends and relatives.
And ….as soon as the boards revert to having IN-HOUSE cleaning protocols where the staff are properly paid, appropriately trained and imaginatively led… we might just begin to win the infection battle.
So.. what’s your experience of hospital visiting? Is this trial on the right lines?
PS… read more about hospital infections and fighting them here on this website from British Society for Antimicrobial Chemotherapy – Treatment of Hospital Infections.