They say necessity is the mother of invention – and that’s certainly true in the case of Matt Roberts and his Hygiene Handle invention, which releases a sanitising gel when pressed.
Because he had noticed that people simply weren’t using the wall-mounted gel dispensers provided in hospitals, he decided to come up with an alternative.
Now all they have to do is touch the door handle and out comes the gel.
This makes it much more difficult to forget or even avoid what is an important hygiene measure for all people working in and visiting hospitals.
It’s a simple idea, but then so often the good ones are.
After trials at the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham and the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester, Matt’s now hoping that the Hygiene Handle could be used nationally by the NHS.
We applaud Matt’s ingenuity and certainly hope that health bosses do take up the Hygiene Handle.
Because there is anecdotal evidence that the present system of gel dispensers is still not working as it should.
Matt himself says he spent some time visiting hospitals and noticed that not many people were using the dispensers.
The reality is that some people forget to clean their hands, others can’t be bothered.
Or maybe they think the risks of infection have been exaggerated.
But it is vitally important that ALL those in hospital get into the routine of gelling their hands.
As Matt says: ‘It is the most fundamental thing to reduce infection.’
Visitors may still need educating as to its importance as the first line of defence to prevent potentially harmful bugs reaching vulnerable patients. But for members of staff there really is no excuse.
In fact we would go as far as to say that NHS employees who persistently fail to use gel should face some kind of disciplinary action.
Because, of all people, surely those working in a hospital should understand about the need for good hygiene standards at all times.