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The ‘science’ of effective cleaning in focus

The risks posed to patients from pathogens found in hospital environments, and the need for those tasked with cleaning them to be adequately trained, and equipped with the latest technology, are highlighted by Dr Mark Garvey, consultant clinical scientist in Microbiology.

The risks to patients from pathogens commonly found in hospital environments, and the need for those tasked with cleaning such facilities to be both adequately trained, and equipped with the latest technology, were highlighted in an interesting address by Dr Mark Garvey, consultant clinical scientist in Microbiology, and Deputy director of Infection Prevention & Control at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), at the Central Sterilising Club’s 60th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting in Stratford-UponAvon. Louise Frampton, editor of HEJ’s sister publication, The Clinical Services Journal, reports.

Environmental decontamination was high on the agenda at the Central Sterilising Club’s 60th Anniversary Annual Scientific Meeting – the pandemic has intensified interest in technologies that tackle airborne pathogens, but the familiar foes of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), Clostridium difficile (C. difficile), and vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) (to name just a few), still remain a challenge. While technologies such as hydrogen peroxide vapour (HPV) and ultraviolet (UV) have an important role in helping to prevent healthcare-associated infections, cleaning is still fundamental to ensure patient safety, and to reduce the risk of environmental transmission. However, do we give this the training or recognition it deserves? 

Dr. Mark Garvey, consultant clinical scientist in Microbiology, and deputy director of Infection Prevention & Control at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust (UHB), tackled this issue in a presentation on ‘Wiping out Infections’. 

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