"Infection control"

About: Royal Free Hospital

Anything else?

On 7/5/13 I visited the Royal Free at lunchtime. I entered by walking through the small park next to the site. There were a number of people sitting on the grass wearing what appeared to be medical clothing, blue, green and white uniforms. I would have thought that this would not be allowed as the grass would be contaminated by dogs and other animals. Also, despite several signs banning smoking there were a large number of cigarette butts on the ground and at least two people smoking. I think that on the next warm lunchtime someone in authority should visit this park and witness what is happening.

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Response from Royal Free Hospital

Thank you for your comments, we appreciate having the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Infection control is an issue we take very seriously at the Royal Free, and indeed we have a whole team dedicated exclusively to this work.

There is no conclusive evidence that wearing uniforms outside for a short time poses a risk in terms of spreading infection, if other stringent guidelines around uniforms and their cleanliness are adhered to.

We have a comprehensive dress code policy which clearly outlines these guidelines to staff, and this policy is regularly reinforced internally.

We appreciate that smoking on hospital grounds is an ongoing issue despite our best efforts to prevent it through signage and a security presence.

We will continue our work to prevent this, as part of our comprehensive public health strategy which includes a range of quit smoking programmes for staff and patients.

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