Monday, May 16, 2005

GHA announce study into Hospital cleaning methods

The Gibraltar Health Authority [GHA] and researchers from University College London Hospitals [UCLH] will conduct a joint study into cleaning methods at St Bernard’s Hospital.

The initiative follows an approach from a project director at UCLH who researches new infection control products that come on the market. He has already been in Gibraltar and carried out an initial assessment on a number of randomly selected locations in the new hospital. "What we’re going to do now is actually have a wider study,” said Joe Catania, director of operations at the GHA.

“Now that we’ve lived in the hospital for nearly three months and we’ve had patient movement, we’re going to conduct studies in certain critical areas, for example in isolation rooms.”

The exercise is part of an evolving programme of infection control at St Bernard’s aimed at reducing the risks to patients of hospital-acquired illnesses.

As part of the study, researchers will assess existing levels of hygiene and consider ways of fine-tuning existing infection control systems.

They will look at both surface hygiene, for example dirt or dust, and the microbiological aspects of cleaning, including the presence of microbes and bacteria.

“A place could be dusty but nonetheless clean from a microbe point of view,” said Dr David McCutcheon, chief executive of the GHA. “And a place could be clean, but not from a microbe point of view.

So you’ve got to make sure that you’re dealing with both.”

The study will be carried out jointly by GHA staff and researchers from UCLH.


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