NHS Lothian pilots UV light boxes in hand hygiene campaign

UV 'Glo Boxes' are being piloted in wards 108 and 208 at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh as part of NHS Lothian's Hand Hygiene campaign.

Six student nurses manned the boxes at the entrance to each ward during visiting hours on Wednesday (5th March) to ensure all staff and visitors cleaned their hands sufficiently.

The project could soon be rolled out across other wards in NHS Lothian with similar trials taking place.

An alcohol hand rub is applied to the hands before placing them under the UV light box.

The Ultra-Violet rays highlight the parts of the hand covered by the gel, in order to spot areas which have been missed.

The project aims to raise awareness and educate staff and visitors on the appropriate use and technique of alcoholic hand rub, and is part of the National Hand Hygiene Campaign.

Good hand washing skills are known to be effective at reducing acquisition and transmission of many bacteria and viruses which can cause illness such as food poisoning, sore throats, colds, and cold sores.

Hand hygiene is important in helping to reduce Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI).

Ann McQueen, Local Health Board Coordinator for the National Hand Hygiene Campaign, said:

"When people wash their hands they often miss large areas without realising, in particular their thumbs, webs of fingers or the backs of their hands.
"The aim of the boxes is to show people how to wash their hands properly, and to help make good hand hygiene a part of their regular routine." 
10/03/2008