A uni­form idea for all hos­pi­tal staff

Glamorgan Gazette - - News - With South Wales West Tory AM Suzy Davies

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

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