Newcastle’s Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Team have won a national award in recognition of their successful campaign to reduce glove use.
The Infection Prevention Society named Newcastle’s team winners of the IPS Gold Award for Excellence 2022.
Responding to the challenge to reduce the over glove use was enabled by Consultant Microbiologist Dr Lucia Pareja-Cebrian who changed Trust guidance to support risk assessment for glove use in April 2022 in advance of changes in National Guidance.
The team’s winning initiative launched in May responded to the huge increase in the number of non-sterile gloves being used across the Trust as a direct result of the increase in personal protective equipment (PPE) during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Glove provision increased from 14 million pairs during 2019 to 22 million pairs throughout the second wave of the pandemic.
The innovative campaign developed by the IPC team members, with support from Matron Gill Lishman, turned the tide in glove use – 29% reduction by July – a phenomenal achievement and most worthy winner of the Infection Prevention Society’s Award for Excellence.
The initiative supported by our sustainability, supply chain, communication and occupational health colleagues was launched to inspire clinical teams across the organisation to change their behaviour around glove use through the re-introduction of risk assessment.
Why not use gloves?
It’s widely recognised that hand hygiene is the most effective tool in reducing the spread of infection. Inappropriate glove use is known to be a barrier to this.
Wearing gloves takes away the personal touch during patient interaction.
Gloves contribute to skin irritation. Newcastle’s Occupational Health Service have seen a significant increase in referrals from staff during the pandemic.
Glove use reduction supports the organisation’s sustainability agenda.
The response and impact
Newcastle’s IPC team focussed on helping staff to understand the negative impact that wearing gloves has on hand hygiene and to increase knowledge on best practice – to risk assess the situation.
The team adopted Quality Improvement (QI) project strategies and with the support of colleagues at Newcastle Improvement introduced the new campaign: “Gloves off – wash your hands”.
The campaign was launched on 5 May 2022 in both acute and community settings. By using new educational materials and staff engagement strategies they were able to encourage clinical teams to review and implement a risk assessment process for glove use and focus on high standards of hand hygiene along with the right time to use gloves.
Interim results have shown a glove reduction of 29% with a sustained reduction of 23%
Individual departments have been encouraged to set up their own initiatives in their areas supported by the multidisciplinary IPC Team. Ward 37 at Freeman Hospital – an intensive critical care unit – is an exemplary of this. They have reduced glove use and significantly improved their hand hygiene in both technique and opportunity.
Angela Cobb IPC Lead “We’ve been delighted by the really positive results we’ve seen so far and even more delighted to have received this award from the Infection Prevention Society.
“At a time of such huge pressure on the NHS it is a huge testament to the staff that change has been so rapidly adopted and it’s great to see the commitment from everyone recognised on national level.”
The initiative remains ongoing …. Ask your visiting Infection Prevention and Control Nurse for more information
How to embark on your own QI project
Our Finalists worked with colleagues at Newcastle Improvement to make their commitment to reduce glove use a reality.
If you have an idea for making quality improvements the team would love to hear from you.