"Uniforms - infection control"

About: East Surrey Hospital

Anything else?

After a recent hospital stay for my frail 82 year old mother in law I was pleasantly surprised at the care she received and the thought and attention to her returning home . However my point today is why are hospital staff including nurses and doctors wearing their uniforms to and from work, They travel by public transport, bike car , taxi etc in the uniform they are going to be wearing all day. How does this impact on infection control ? the Doctors were not wearing white coats once in the building and one the wards and with the recent hot weather it was more evident than ever as overcoats were not worn either. What germs are they bringing into the hospital and then taking home with them. Since the hospitals stopped a laundry service and staff have to wash their own uniforms at home this is happening more and more . Surely they should be bringing their uniforms to work with them in a carrier and changing into them at work and removing them before they go home. whilst I was present in the ward , plastic aprons were not always worn.. I would like to understand why this is allowed to happen and who is responsible for protecting the vulnerable patients they look after.

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Response from Bethan Borrett, Digital Communications Manager, Communications, Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust

Dear ‘Wright’,

I am glad you are happy with the care your mother received during her stay at East Surrey Hospital. It is always nice to hear about our patient’s experience here.

Although the general perception is that uniforms pose an infection control risk when worn inside and outside clinical areas there is no evidence to suggest this.

You will no longer find any NHS doctor wearing a white coat as this is something that was phased out in 2007. Our policy is that uniforms should be fully covered if worn out of the trust on their way to and from work, and we will remind staff of this policy in response to your comment.

Many thanks for your comments, Bethan

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