"I constantly witness nursing staff ..."

About: Royal Preston Hospital

(as a relative),

What could be improved

I constantly witness nursing staff wearimg uniform outside the hospital, going off and coming on to their shift. This morning I met one in the local leisure centre at 7.45 am. I would be very grateful to learn how this practice can aid the fight to limit infection. Recently the Welsh health authority has banned the wearing of uniform outside the ward as part of its 'jigsasw' of procedures to combat infection.I suspect that they also have reintroduced the practice of nurses having hair tied back, no makeup and short fingernails.It doesn't take much imagination to make a connection between increased infection rates and nurses personal hygiene. I find it depressing, frustrating and often disgusting to see many of the unkempt nursing staff at RPH

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Response from Royal Preston Hospital

The Trust has a strict policy that uniforms can be worn whilst travelling to and from work and must be covered at all times. Uniforms must not be worn outside the Trust under any other circumstances and failure to comply may result in disciplinary action being taken.

A direct link has not been made between uniform contamination and an infection in a patient. The best prevention of hospital-acquired infection is to ensure staff wash their hands before any contact with patients. This is one of many good workplace procedures, which the Trust works hard to instil in staff, which are designed to protect them and patients.

The Trust rigorously enforces its uniform policy and good hand hygiene.

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