Posted on 24-September-2019   by Imogen Jones

Fits like an (examination) glove

Do you need to use gloves?

We’re always happy to work with our customers and colleagues on initiatives which reduce waste and promote better working practices. So, when were approached by University Hospitals Birmingham to produce a label to affix to our Danicentre (apron and glove dispenser) incorporating glove awareness advice, we were ‘on hand’ to help!

The overuse of gloves – wearing gloves when they are not needed, in particular – puts nursing staff at risk of work-related dermatitis. Plus, the NHS spends almost £35m each year buying more than 1.5 billion boxes of examination gloves.

The Royal College of Nursing’s (RCN) Glove Awareness Week, which ran from 23 April to 1 May this year, represented a new approach to raising awareness about glove use by championing skin health and bringing a new perspective to hand hygiene. The aim of Glove Awareness Week is to raise the profile of appropriate glove use and skin health, as a way of starting discussions about hand hygiene.

RCN Glove Awareness Poster

In addition, Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust ran a ‘The gloves are off’ campaign’ in 2018 to address the over-use of non-sterile gloves through education and training. As well as seeing a reduction in staff attendances to occupational health for hand or skin related problems, the campaign also resulted in a significant reduction in the number of gloves ordered into the hospital. Staff are now following evidence-based practice rather than wearing gloves out of habit.

At the heart of Daniels Healthcare, we have one vision: “To be the most successful and innovative company in infection control by investing in our people and providing quality solutions for our customers”. Part of our value-add services is providing support to customers through a range of training and educational materials.

Consequently, when we were approached by Amy Wallett, the Lead Infection Prevention and Control Nurse at University Hospitals Birmingham (UHB), to see if we could incorporate some glove use messaging within the current Danicentre labels that can be stuck to the front of the dispenser, we set to work with the RCN and UHB to collaboratively develop a sticker. This is what Amy had to say about what UHB did as a result of the Glove Aware campaign:

“The Infection Prevention and Control team at University Hospitals Birmingham have been closely following the National Glove Aware campaign led by the Royal College of Nursing. To gain local insight, senior infection prevention and control nurse Sarah Wilkes developed a staff questionnaire to identify what procedures staff chose to wear gloves for. This identified variance in selection and helped us focus on specific tasks to educate staff on. This has been greatly received and branched out further to our facilities services and more recently porters. We want to maintain simplicity in an individual’s risk assessment: gloves for any potential risk of exposure to body fluids or contact with hazardous chemicals. 

We see infection prevention as a behavioural science that is influenced by human factors. Rather than produce and print posters across the hospital, we wanted to look at placement of information to support reduction of glove use.  That’s when I had the idea of looking at the dispensers staff access to select their gloves.  I contacted Daniel’s Healthcare to explain an idea to have information where the label was placed on the Danicentres, encouraging staff to stop and think of whether gloves are required or not. We worked together to guide the content and format of the label, including an image of Earth as a large theme of our campaign has been on sustainability and being more environmentally friendly. Staff have engaged very positively with this message.  We are really pleased with the final product and excited that our local work has led to supporting other health care providers with their glove use reduction. We are very grateful to Daniel’s Healthcare for working with us so closely”

And we loved working with you too Amy!

Since I tweeted about the label, we’ve had lots of interest in this initiative from other hospitals and infection prevention staff. If you would like more information or would like to use the label, please contact me on Imogen.Jones@mauserpackaging.com

Imogen is the Product Manager at Daniels. Responsibilities include driving the use of social media within our business