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Docs white coat to change

17th September 2007

A new dress code for doctors, which will see changes to the traditional white coat, are to be introduced as part of government plans to combat hospital infections.

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Under guidance due to come into force next year, the new style of clothing will have short sleeves as cuffs are seen as an area of clothing at high risk of being contaminated.

Also, doctors will no longer be permitted to wear long-sleeve shirts, jewellery, or watches and healthcare staff will be advised against wearing ties during clinical work.

The new dress code is part of a range of measures planned by Health Secretary Alan Johnson to tackle the spread of hospital-acquired infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.

Mr Johnson said: “I’m determined that patient safety, including cleanliness, should be the first priority of every NHS organisation.?

He said the package of measures will give more responsibility to matrons and set guidelines on clothing that will help ensure thorough hand washing and prevent the spread of infections. Matrons will now directly report concerns about cleanliness and hygiene to hospital boards four times a year.

Hospital managers will also have a legal duty to notify cases of infection to the Health Protection Agency (HPA).

The British Medical Association said a stricter dress code was only one aspect of preventing and controlling infection.

“A co-ordinated approach addressing all the relevant factors, for example dress code, bed occupancy, hygiene in hospital and isolation policies, is most likely to be successful,? said BMA head of science and ethics Dr Vivienne Nathanson.

 

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Article Information

Title: Docs white coat to change
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 4089
Date Added: 17th Sep 2007

Sources

BBC News

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