Waving goodbye to infection

Children at the Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales were invited to take part in a poster competition to raise awareness of the importance of hand washing.

The team received 30 entries for the competition, which encouraged children to be creative and think of some eye-catching visuals to ensure infection prevention and control is adhered to throughout the hospital.

Rees Sharpe, aged 11, from Barry was the lucky winner of the competition, with her picture showing germs being washed off a pair of hands. Rees’ poster will now be reproduced and displayed around the wards at the hospital to remind patients, staff and visitors to wash their hands thoroughly.

Alongside the posters, the children also designed some hands with hand washing messages on them, which they can wave at staff and visitors reminding them to wash their hands, making the message more fun and engaging.

Heather Gater, Acute Therapy Services Manager at Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales said: “When children are in hospital they are here to recover and get better and are vulnerable to infections. We want to make sure all visitors, staff and patients on the wards are aware of how to keep their hands clean and why it is important to stop viruses from spreading , which can affect a patient’s recovery and keep them in hospital longer.

“This competition was set up to capture the imagination of the children and allow us to tell a simple yet very important message. It also encourages and empowers both patients and parents to be able to challenge staff about hand washing.”

The winning entry will now be displayed across the hospital in conjunction with other infection prevention and control processes, such as bare below the elbows, to help reduce the risk of spreading infections to patients.

The other entries will also be displayed on ward notice boards to raise the important message of hand washing.