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Cleanyourhands campaign to tackle infection

Today Chief Medical Officer Sir Liam Donaldson launched the third year of the National Patient Safety Agency's cleanyourhands campaign.

The campaign aims to improve the hand hygiene of healthcare workers in order to combat healthcare associated infections.   

Sir Donaldson said: "It's absolutely vital that hand hygiene is seen as a priority by every single healthcare professional - from surgeon to nursing assistant.

"We can't succeed in the fight against healthcare associated infections unless we address the problem by working together as a team that encompasses the entire healthcare journey, with no weak links."

The third year sees the campaign launch harder-hitting, eye-catching visuals with bold messages to emphasise the importance of hand hygiene.

Sir Donaldson said that healthcare professionals wanted material that reminded them why they should wash their hands as well as when and how to carry it out.

The campaign now aims to extend its remit towards primary care, an area which Sir Donaldson said "healthcare infections still occur but is perhaps not given the same level of attention as the acute sector."

Derek Butler, leader of charity MRSA Action UK said:  "The system itself is flawed - no matter how good the processes are - people cannot perform better than the organisation supporting them."

Cleanyourhands has already been adopted by all acute NHS trusts in Wales and England and is also being rolled to primary care and mental health and care trusts.