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Corey lends hand to hygiene campaign

30 August 2017
A brave schoolboy who is winning his fight against cancer has taken on another battle – to promote hand hygiene in hospitals.

Corey Foster, who is in remission from  leukaemia, features in new posters at Cambridge University Hospitals that carry the message “protect me, don’t infect me” and “hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent the spread of infections.”

The hard-hitting artwork, on walls and pillars outside children’s wards, is just the latest in a series of hand hygiene initiatives at The Rosie and Addenbrooke’s, which in 15 years has slashed levels of infection, including drug-resistant MRSA and C. difficile.

Brave schoolboy Corey Foster who is helping CUH promote the importance of clean hands in hospitalMum Kerry Foster, from Orton Goldhay, Cambridgeshire, said her family have been meticulous hand washers ever since 14-year-old Corey was born prematurely and in a poorly condition.

She explained: “You don’t understand the importance of hand hygiene until you have someone close to you fighting for their life and vulnerable to infections.

“That’s why we agreed to take part in the campaign, as it’s vitally important that everyone – and that includes us as family members – has clean hands in hospital.

“Corey is doing well now but has to have regular bone marrow samples to check cancer cells aren’t growing.”

Dr Jag Ahluwalia, Medical Director, said World Health Organisation figures show that each year hundreds of millions of patients around the world are affected by healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).

He added: “I would like to thank Corey and Kerry for helping us to get the message across that hand hygiene is vitally important, among visitors as well as our own staff, to protect our patients.

“The NHS faced huge problems with hospital-acquired infections 15 years ago, but a package of measures has reduced those numbers significantly, including at Addenbrooke’s and the Rosie.

“As a Trust we felt the time was right to refresh the message of getting the basics around hand hygiene right ahead of winter, when we know there’s an increase in infections such as norovirus and flu.”