Chief medical officer names hand hygiene and organ donation as public health priorities

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 19 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:113
  1. Michael Day
  1. London

    Liam Donaldson, the chief medical officer for England, has named, in his latest annual report, “unacceptably poor” hand hygiene in hospitals and the chronic lack of organs for transplantation as the two most pressing public health issues.

    Despite improvements in some hand hygiene practices, he said, such as more widespread use of alcohol based handrubs, the percentage of healthcare staff complying with hand cleaning protocols seldom exceeded 60%—and was often even lower.

    “Patients find it astonishing and alarming that often nurses and doctors do not routinely wash their hands,” said Professor Donaldson. “However, they often don't feel able to ask doctors or …

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