Ashford and St Peter’s Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust serves a population of more than 410,000 people living in the boroughs of Runnymede, Spelthorne, Woking and parts of Elmbridge, Hounslow, Surrey Heath and beyond.
What was the aim/problem?
As part of its effort to protect its 3,800 members of staff, the trust was concerned about the risk of some staff members (particularly support staff, for example cleaners, porters and security personnel) missing out on personal protection equipment (PPE) training. The training needs identified included hand hygiene, environmental risks and the chance to raise questions and concerns.
What was the solution?
The trust introduced mandatory training on PPE for all staff: when to use it, what to use in different settings and why. Sessions where arranged at different times of the day to accommodate shift patterns and ensure no one was left out; everyone felt safe and was using PPE appropriately.
The trust produced a step-by-step video, demonstrating the proper donning and doffing of different types of PPE for different levels of risk areas. They also produced a video demonstrating how easily infections can spread in the work environment. They went back to what may be seen as basic – glove usage and removal, cleaning hands when leaving the clinical areas, not touching masks, especially with gloves on when leaving clinical areas. To help drive awareness and as a constant safety reminder, team leaders and supervisors arranged frequent refresher sessions with colleagues.
To support safe social distancing measures, alternative arrangements are continually being reviewed for staff communal areas.
After some weeks of intense training, awareness driving and reviews of social distancing measures in communal areas, the anxiety around PPE use significantly reduced. Colleagues became more confident and familiar with the various types of PPE equipment, safe use and disposal. There was also a marked reduction in inappropriate wearing of PPE equipment in areas of high traffic like corridors.
The trust is currently collecting staff stories and experiences during the COVID-19 crisis, carrying out root cause analysis for staff who have become unwell and for those who have sadly died. This will help inform risk factors, including the working environment and access to PPE.
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