Media Release: NHS Lothian is ‘caught clean-handed’

NHS Lothian has appointed a new hand hygiene co-ordinator, as it aims to build on a recently-launched awareness campaign by the Scottish Executive.

Ann McQueen, who has joined NHS Lothian’s Public Health department from her duty
manager role at the Western General, will be responsible for ensuring that the
practice of hand washing is carried out effectively in all healthcare settings
across Lothian.

The hand hygiene co-ordinator position has been created as a 15-month secondment
role and will build on similar work previously carried out by the Infection Control
Teams, focusing on the need to boost awareness of the need to keep hands clean,
especially when involved in healthcare.

Ann said: “My job will involve raising awareness throughout NHS Lothian and instil a
change of culture by improving current hand hygiene practice, as well as working
with our partners in the Local Authorities, Health and Social Care, nurseries and
care homes, GP practices and clinics.”

With almost 28,000 NHS Lothian staff to target, it is a big challenge to get the
message to everyone.

“It is also important that healthcare workers do not feel targeted as
it can sometimes come across that they are being told they have not been doing their
jobs properly.”

Regular auditing will take place to measure the progress of the work being carried
out. It is a responsibility that Ann will enjoy as she has a long-standing interest
in Infection Control.

Ann said: “One of my earlier roles was as a nurse in the Infectious Diseases unit at
the old Edinburgh City Hospital. Infection control is something that I’ve always
been enthusiastic about and it played a major part in my BSc and MBA studies in
Healthcare Management.

“Back then, Healthcare Associated Infections (HAIs) were a fairly new concept in
Lothian and I did a number of presentations to local healthcare workers on this.”

Simon White, hand hygiene project manager, Health Protection Scotland, said: “The
Project welcome Ann’s appointment as the NHS Lothian Local Health Board Co-ordinator
(LHBC). The appointment of LHBCs within each NHS Board is vitally important in
helping to ensure the success of the campaign. We look forward to working with Ann
and the other LHBCs over the course of the coming year.”

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