Friday, 8 February 2013
Scottish NHS - MRSA Cases Down By 81.5%
Today's Anti-SNP article in the Herald is laughable.
Alex Neil, the Scottish Health Secretary, was visiting the new Royal Victoria Building in Edinburgh when photographers asked him to sit on a bed for a photocell. According to Mr Neil, who is aware of visitor protocols, he was told to go ahead because the bedding was due to be changed immediately after his visit.
However, Jackson Carlaw, the Tory deputy leader, at yesterday's FMQs, said the following:
"The First Minister, I wonder, would he respond to the following that I received this morning: 'As a nurse, I was rather disgusted to see the Scottish health minister park his backside on a patient's bed while opening a new hospital and wittering on about infection control.'
If (yes I said if) that nurse was present then she wasn't paying attention because I doubt if anyone of Alex Neil's age - or mine - would sit on a patient's bed without being given the go-ahead. We are of the generation which knows that adhering to visiting times is important for patient recovery, that washing hands is essential, that two visitors at a time is enough - sometimes too much - for patients and that sitting on beds is taboo. When I was visiting a neighbour in hospital just before Christmas, one patient had six visitors (two of them children) and most sat on the bed as there was only one chair available. The nursing staff said nothing.
The NHS offers guidance to people visiting someone in hospital:
Under the heading "What not to do when visiting someone in hospital", the first piece of guidance states: "It's best not to sit on the patient's bed as this can spread germs. Use the chairs provided."
Why are we now so stuck in this 'guidance' culture? The NHS should be instructing hospital visitors and if they did so then they may just find that infections fall even further.
The reason for Alex Neil's visit was to publicise the new building's design of single rooms throughout, which it is hoped will reduce the risk of healthcare associated infections (HAIs). When were HAIs changed from Hospital Acquired Infections?
The poor journalism proffers a measly two lines to the massive reduction of 81.5% of cases of MRSA in the last seven years since the SNP took office. The Herald should be publicising that fact and not worrying about Alex Neil having his photograph taken sitting on an unclean bed.