Patient Safety Open Day 

Linking in with MRSA Awareness Month and Global Handwashing Day, staff at Bedford Hospital held it's Patient Safety Open Day on Saturday 16th October. 


Bedford Hospital's patient safety open day featured on ITV's Anglia Regional News on Saturday evening.

It was part of a news item that also covered events at Luton and Dunstable Hospital who had been treating twin babies and their mum for a bacterial infection with PVL MRSA.  The hospital had given assurances that it was working closely with the Health Protection Agency to stop the infection from spreading.  The report explained it was a bacterium that produces a toxin that destroys white blood cells.  In a statement the hospital had said they were very concerned this had happened, premature babies were prone to infections.  They were confident that with their heightened infection control precautions they can prevent the infection from spreading.

Derek gave a brief interview about the importance of the patient safety open day, a small extract was broadcast.  The clip included filming on advice for preventing infections like MRSA.

Derek explained that some infections were inevitable because we live with bacteria all the time, they are on our bodies, in our bodies, in the environment, however he said "no patient should contract an avoidable infection" 

Chordination sang and entertained patients and visitors and helped draw their attention to the stands.

Derek joined Collette with the stand featuring the importance of hand hygiene.  There were opportunities to view hands under the microscope to learn about the importance of looking after your skin, bacteria can hide in crevices and dry skin can harbour more bacteria.


The small scratches on rings and wedding bands showed up under the microscope, showing how important it was to adhere to bare below the elbows and avoid jewelry for giving clinical care.  Staff at Bedford Hospital were arriving and getting changed into their uniforms before going on duty, something that patients we spoke to perceive as good practice and is therefore very reassuring.

The World Health Organisation's pre-operation safety checklist for surgeons and patient warming feature in the picture.


Keeping patients warm during surgery can help to prevent surgical infections, this is known as normothermia.  During long surgical procedures the body temperature can drop as the theatre is cool, and with little clothing covering the patient this can pose a heightened risk of contracting an infection.  Visitors could see how the bearhugger can help regulate the body temperature and reduce the risks.


Age Concern and Bedford LINK also had stands and we had the opportunity to share experiences with Arthur Dennis, Chair of Bedford LINK.

Juliet Magee, Maria Cann, Derek Butler and
Director of Nursing and Patient Services, Eiri Jones

Derek and Eiri talk about the continuing work to achieve the standards that are needed to keep infections at bay at MRSA Action UK's stall.  We had a number of patients, nurses and students visiting the stand who were all pleased that we were able to participate in the day.

If you or someone you care about has been affected by a healthcare infection and you wish to discuss this with us, please contact us at