Hygiene idea gels well with medical staff and patients

1/11/2011 (PM)''Matt Roberts (31), joint owner of Pure Hold Ltd based in Waterlooville has designed a door handle that automatically dispenses hand gel to a person's hand to keep off bacteria in hospitals. ''Pictured is: Matt Roberts (31) with the door handle.'''Picture: Sarah Standing (113880-6553)
1/11/2011 (PM)''Matt Roberts (31), joint owner of Pure Hold Ltd based in Waterlooville has designed a door handle that automatically dispenses hand gel to a person's hand to keep off bacteria in hospitals. ''Pictured is: Matt Roberts (31) with the door handle.'''Picture: Sarah Standing (113880-6553)
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IT HELPED sanitise more hands when it was given a trial – and now a new style of ‘hygiene handle’ will become a permanent fixture at Queen Alexandra Hospital.

Inventor Matt Roberts spotted that people weren’t using sanitising gel in hospital so decided to try and solve the problem.

As previously reported in The News, Matt, of Parkside, Bedhampton, came up with the Hygiene Handle – a device which releases gel when you use it to open the door.

A three-week trial last September at QA in Portsmouth and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital, Winchester, found hand the number of members of staff using the gel increased from six per cent to 60 per cent.

Next week, eight wards within the maternity, neonatal intensive care and haematology outpatient units, in QA, will be fitted with the device.

Matt, 32, who created the company Pure Hold, said: ‘I was really pleased with how the trial went. From previous trips to hospital, I saw how there could be up to four signs on a door reminding people to clean their hands.

‘But people just don’t read them, so this is a way for people to clean their hands without thinking about it.’

The handle is covered with 23 pressure points that release the bug-busting gel.

The device contains a ‘non gel’ section for staff who might be carrying paperwork, and so would not want to clean their hands.

The eight units will have the handles for three months, after which if there are no problems the handles will stay in place.

‘They are a bit of a novelty at the moment,’ added Matt.

‘So the extended trial is to make sure people don’t start ignoring the handle or the novelty wears off.

‘It’s also to make sure the handles are durable. I’m confident about it though and we are trialling the handle in Ireland now.’

The senior infection prevention nurse at QA explains why hand hygiene is important. Matthew Richardson said: ‘When we are healthy our immune systems help protect us, however it is important we find ways to stop these bugs getting into hospital wards where there are vulnerable patients.

‘What people may not realise is that potentially harmful bacteria exist everywhere.’