A NORTH Wales health board has launched a new campaign focusing on improving safety and care for patients.

The new Safe Clean Care campaign, set up by Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB), will focus on setting out essential infection prevention and control actions, which are required from all staff, patients and visitors.

New signage will be going up in the health board's acute hospitals first - Glan Clwyd Hospital in Bodelwyddan, Ysbyty Gwynedd in Bangor and Wrexham Maelor Hospital - before being rolled out in community hospitals.

Activities will be also be introduced to raise awareness of the key elements of the campaign. By ensuring actions are adopted by staff and patients, the health board said they will see "improvements" in the quality of care delivered.

Gill Harris, executive director for nursing and midwifery, said: “Our Safe Clean Care call to action is designed to provide support, training and resources for our staff.

"The aim of the campaign is to reduce our patient infection rates and improve the quality of care for our patients. Safe, clean care is everyone’s responsibility and we will be encouraging our staff to commit to six key elements [of the campaign]."

Elements include:

Staff cleaning their hands before and after each patient contact, and encouraging patients and visitors do the same

Staff working in clinical areas will be asked to be ‘bare below the elbows’ - the only way to ensure that hands can be cleaned properly

A renewed focus on making sure wards and department are clutter free

When a patient needs to be cared for in isolation, where possible, this will be done within two hours

Safe care of devices, such as catheters, will be a priority. There will be a renewed focus on the correct prescribing of antibiotics

Prudent antibiotic prescribing; and when antibiotics are required they are stopped as quickly as possible

Further information is available from www.wales.nhs.uk

Anyone who has any ideas about how the health board can improve their care to patients is asked to email bcu.safecleancare@wales.nhs.uk