NHS England | December 2018 | ‘The gloves are off’ campaign’
The use of non-sterile gloves has been associated with a significant potential for cross-contamination and transmission of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). This is because they are often used when they aren’t needed, put on too early, taken off too late or not changed at critical points (Source: NHS England)
A case study recently added to NHS England’s Shared Atlas of Learning, addresses the over-use of non-sterile gloves through education and training. The Lead Nurse for Infection Prevention and Control and two Lead Practice Educators at Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (GOSH).
Actions included establishing a working group to develop an educational awareness programme for staff. This included an updated educational package for when gloves should be worn generally in practice and a risk assessment strategy for use of gloves when preparing intravenous medication.
Staff were asked to risk assess when they would wear gloves for giving medication. Gloves were only needed for:
- any medication where you could be in contact with a bodily fluid. e.g. eye drops, nose drops
- any therapeutically active cream
- any liquid hormones or cytotoxic medications.
As a result of the nurses’ actions, the case study reports:
Better outcomes – There has been a reduction in staff attendances to occupational health for hand or skin related problems. The CVL infection rate remains within normal parameters and there has been no adverse rise in hospital acquired infections including Vancomycin-resistant Enterococci (VRE), viral respiratory and enteric infections.
Better experience – The father of a child with learning disabilities gave feedback that his child is hospital and gloves phobic and the project has improved the quality of their life.
The main focus of the project was to provide education and training so that staff felt empowered to risk assess when they used gloves, which has been achieved.
Better use of resources – There has been a significant reduction in the amount of gloves ordered into the hospital. The most recent mean for gloves ordered is 163,125 per week, which is taken from the baseline period between the weeks beginning 15 April 2018 and 29 July 2018, which is a significant reduction on the previous mean of 199,733 units per week a difference of 36,608.
The outcomes of the project are continuing to be monitored and are reported quarterly to staff across the Trust and Nursing Board.
Read the case study at NHS England