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Private hospitals sign up to handwashing campaign to combat MRSA

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A campaign to encourage handwashing as a way of controlling infections such as MRSA has been extended beyond the NHS to include private and independent sector hospitals and care homes.

The National Patient Safety Agency (NPSA) has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Independent Healthcare Advisory Services, which allows all its members to access the ‘cleanyourhands’ hygiene control campaign’s resources including posters, guidance booklets and DVDs.

Martin Fletcher, chief executive of the NPSA, said: ‘This marks the first time the campaign has been formally available to independent healthcare providers…we hope that independent healthcare providers will maximise this opportunity to educate their staff and reassure their patients.’

The campaign aims to reduce the spread of preventable infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile by educating and prompting staff to clean their hands before and after treating each patient. So far the campaign has been taken up by all acute trusts in England and Wales.

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