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Monday, 22 December 2008

Doctors and nurses who do not wash their hands could be sacked under new "zero tolerance" rules to prevent the spread of superbugs.

Doctors and nurses to be sacked if they do not wash their hands
article in the Telegraph


"The tough rules on hand hygiene will be applied to Scottish hospitals from January.

Those who repeatedly fail to comply with hand washing guidelines have been warned they could face disciplinary action when the new rules are implemented.

Ministers previously set a 90 per cent target for handwashing, to be met by February next year.

But they believe that target has already been achieved ahead of schedule and the health boards are being told to target the remaining ten per cent of staff who fail to keep their hands clean.

An aide to Scottish health secretary Nicola Sturgeon said it was "unacceptable" for medical staff to flout hygiene rules.

He said: "Hand hygiene is an important part of our drive to tackle healthcare associated infection. NHS Scotland has met the target to achieve at least 90 per cent compliance.

"We are now adopting a zero tolerance approach to non compliance and all Boards are expected to implement this policy from January 2009.""

I'll believe it if/when it happens! - Is this intended just for Scotland?

There is a long tradition of doctors harming their patients because of not washing their hands, e.g. many years ago many women died in childbirth because of doctors not washing their hands prior to examining patients and the women caught puerperal fever, which killed them. - See http://www.jameslindlibrary.org/trial_records/19th_Century/semmelweis/semmelweis_commentary.html

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