A uniform idea for all hospital staff
THERE have been discussions lately at the ABMU Community Health Council about hospital staff wearing their uniforms out and about in the community.
Mention was made of staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital in particular.
With concerns rising about hospital acquired infections like norovirus and MRSA, it is important to ensure that infections are not carried either into hospitals or out of them on clothing.
In the past, hospitals had their own laundries where uniforms were washed.
Those days are long gone with centralised laundries where only theatre staff uniforms are washed.
Other staff are expected to take their uniforms home to wash themselves.
Also, many hospitals no longer have lockers or changing rooms where staff can leave their uniforms overnight to change back into their normal clothes.
This means that staff popping into a shop on their way to or from work will be in uniform.
A Welsh Government health minister decided to look into this issue several years ago but nothing seems to have happened. No surprise there.
The solution could be to install lockers for all staff at hospitals and also to consider getting hospital laundries to wash all uniforms.
But then we run up against the cost of such changes.
It would require capital investment and there seems to be no managerial will to provide such facilities.
But in the long run, as antibiotics become less effective, and in many case stop working altogether, the need to prevent the spread of infection will become paramount.
The best ideas to solve this problem will come from uniformed staff who work on the wards and face the dilemma daily.
Drop me a line with your suggestions at suzy. [email protected]bly.wales