Handwashing by hospital staff improves

HANDWASHING among local hospital staff is continuing to improve, but still falling short of the Scottish Government's 100 per cent compliance target.

The latest audit of NHS Lothian workers found that 94 per cent were washing their hands regularly between tasks.

Cleanliness is one of the most important tools in fighting the spread of superbugs such as MRSA and C.diff, as well as minimising the risk of swine flu.

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Despite the improvements on last year, when at times one in ten staff weren't bothering to clean their hands enough, the figure still fails to meet health secretary Nicola Sturgeon's aims of having a "zero tolerance" approach to dirty hands.

Health chiefs in Edinburgh were forced to threaten senior doctors with disciplinary action if they did not improve their compliance when it emerged they were worse than in any other area of hospitals.