NHS: Infectious Diseases

Health written question – answered on 21st May 2008.

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Photo of Philip Davies Philip Davies Conservative, Shipley

To ask the Secretary of State for Health what recommendations (a) his Department and (b) the National Patient Safety Agency has made to the NHS on hand infection control against the spread of norovirus.

Photo of Ann Keen Ann Keen Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Health Services), Department of Health

The Department advice is to follow existing professional guidance(1,2) which advocates enhanced handwashing.

The National Patient Safety Agency has ongoing communications with the national health service about hand infection control via the cleanyourhands campaign. The campaign implementation guidance and materials advocate using soap and water in situations where vomiting and diarrhoea are prevalent, for example norovirus and Clostridium difficile cases, or when hands are visibly soiled.


(1) The Journal of Hospital Infection—epic2: National Evidence-Based Guidelines for Preventing Healthcare-Associated Infections in NHS Hospitals in England. www.epic.tvu.ac.uk/PDF%20Files/epic2/epic2-final.pdf

(2) Preventing person-to-person spread following gastrointestinal infections: guidelines for public health physicians and environmental health officers Prepared by a Working Group of the former PHLS Advisory Committee on Gastrointestinal Infections Communicable Disease and Public Health 2004; 7 (4): 362. www.hpa.org.uk/cdph/issues/CDPHvol7/No4/guidelines2_ 4_04.pdf

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