HSE in hospital hygiene campaign
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has launched a major public information campaign on hand hygiene in the country's hospitals.
The Executive said it is urging patients to ask their health care workers if they have cleaned their hands before treating them.
In a bid to tackle the spread of MRSA and other infections, the hand hygiene message will be published in newspapers and broadcast on TV and radio adverts from tomorrow.
"While hospital hygiene is clearly important, evidence shows that hand hygiene is the single most effective defence against the spread of MRSA," said Dr Kevin Kelleher, Assistant National Director for Health Protection with the HSE.
"Patients and health care staff are now much more aware and often more concerned about health care associated infection, and we hope that the public education messages we are broadcasting will help to reassure everyone in the hospital that high standards are a priority."
In March 2007, the HSE established a National Infection Control Steering Group, responsible for reducing infection levels in Ireland's health care facilities by stopping the spread of infection and altering antibiotic usage in hospitals and in the community.