The Walton Centre joins the ‘Gloves Off’ campaign to improve infection prevention and support a greener future
Date: 16 October 2023
The Walton Centre is the latest NHS Trust to join the Gloves Off campaign, which aims to reduce the use of non-sterile disposable gloves for non-infectious patients. This International Infection Prevention Week 2023, the hospital is focusing on good hand hygiene – which is also very effective in preventing infection.
Training for patient-facing staff, encouraging them to risk assess when to use gloves appropriately, has begun.
Interim Chief Nurse Nichola Martin said: “It’s a big change for many of our clinical staff as this is an engrained behaviour from when you start training to be a nurse. But it’s important that we don’t rely on gloves or use them when they are not required, as they can actually increase the risk of cross contamination and spread of infection.
“Clean, bare hands are better for our patients and staff, rather than the potential over-reliance on gloves, which can lead to not washing or gelling your hands as regularly as you should.”
Reducing reliance on disposable gloves also has a positive environmental impact as part of the hospital’s sustainability plans. A reduction in reliance on gloves can also improve hand hygiene vigilance and reduce skin issues staff may experience from overuse.
Head of Infection Prevention and Control Helen Oulton said: “As well as supporting staff to make this change, a big part of the campaign is educating our patients on when they can expect staff to wear gloves. To support this, we have created posters that will be put up in patient areas around the Trust, outlining the different scenarios.”
Do you know when gloves should be off?
Here’s how our clinical staff will use disposable gloves when interacting with patients:
- When in contact (or risk of contact) with blood, body fluid or broken skin
- When in contact with chemical hazards such as disinfectant
- Where a patient is infectious or showing signs of infection
Clean, bare hands that are washed regularly with soap and water or using alcohol hand rub are just as effective as gloves in these scenarios:
- Taking patients’ blood pressure, temperature etc.
- Examining or touching a patient
- Assisting a patient with food and drink
- Giving vaccinations
- Administration tasks near a patient (e.g. answering the phone, using the computer)
- Moving a patient’s belongings
- Tidying the bedspace
You can view posters which will be displayed in clinical areas in the hospital HERE.
The Walton Centre is the latest NHS Trust to join the Gloves Off campaign, which aims to reduce the use of non-sterile disposable gloves for non-infectious patients.