Tag Archives: NHS

Next stop, Queasy Tummy and Norovirus – hold on tight please

Two girls on tube
Yes, hold on tight. But don’t touch anything else – and make sure your hands are clean afterwards. You life could depend on it.

Hold on? We don’t think so.

Be super careful, more like. OCD like your life depends on it.

Which it does.

Especially if you’re not carrying disposable gloves, antibacterial gel or hand wipes.

Because after our blog of yesterday,  it seems germs on the Underground are far more of a threat than we think – as this mind-boggling post from Dr Ed demonstrates.

Too many germs, too easy to touch

Not surprising with 5 million passengers a day.

All crammed in tight, breathing the same air, hanging on to the same poles and grab handles. And all with the same dodgy hygiene habits:

Yeah, right.

Dirty hands touching dirty things, is it any wonder we’re always coming down with something?

121 different kinds of viruses and bacteria – according to research commissioned by insurance experts,  Staveley Head. 9 of them superbugs – potentially lethal killers that doctors can no longer treat with antibiotics.

Catching a bug on the tube and taking it to work. Falling ill and having to call it in. And probably passing it round to colleagues while doing so.

And all at ENORMOUS expense

It’s that kind of exposure that contributes to the £29 billion a year that sick leave costs the country.

And even worse than that, the 10 TIMES MORE it costs in unwell people coming to work anyway and toughing it out. £290 billion and counting.

£319 billion that adds up to. Enough to bankroll the NHS a whopping TWO AND A HALF TIMES over.

Or closer to home, individual organisations can get a hold on their own costs here.

Staggering, right?

Yet what do we do about it?

All that money and people bleat about cuts.

When all the time there is money for the taking – £319 billion if we play our cards right – just by ramping up our hygiene.

Hygiene, hygiene, hygiene

Like washing hands properly and often – as the folks at Northampton Hospital have been telling us for the last five years.

And like doing something to get rid of those germs. Hold everything – stop the exposure, stop the illnesses, stop all that money going down the drain.

Which means time to say, “Hold it, enough.”

Because it IS possible to eliminate germs pretty well completely. They’ll come back of course, they always do. But just like brushing our teeth, it is possible to be safe and protected every day – in the workplace, on the tube, in fact anywhere there is an enclosed space.

All it takes is regular treatment with ionised hydrogen peroxide, and the problem goes away.

ALL viruses, ALL bacteria, ALL parasites, ALL mould – end of the line, gone.

So come on people, don’t put up with it any more. Right now, the average is that we’ll all feel off-colour in some way or other every three days. Aren’t we all heartily sick of it?

Already the tube people have gone far enough to worry about air quality and do something about that. So when are they going to get a hold on the germ issue?

Let’s hope we don’t need an epidemic first.

Picture Copyright: william87 / 123RF Stock Photo

How to fix the NHS – in 45 seconds flat

Girl showing stopwatch
If each of us took just 45 seconds with soap and water after everything we do, most NHS problems would simply go away

45 seconds is the time most people take to sing one verse of God Save the Queen twice.

Same length as the official version played at major events, like the FA Cup or international athletics meets.

It’s also the same time health experts recommend we should all take to wash our hands.

Not just a wiggle under the tap. Or just a rinse. The full Monty with soap and hot water – including between the fingers and backs of hands.

OK, big deal.

Soap and water to the rescue

So how does this rescue the NHS?

According to the latest media uproar, the system is drowning under the sheer number of patients. A&E departments swamped, operations backed up for months, not enough beds to care for people properly.

To spell it out more clearly – way too many patients.

Huh?

The NHS is a massive organisation with a budget this year of £107 billion, how can there be too many patients?

Because a lot of them SHOULDN’T BE THERE.

Our political train smash

Thanks to political machinating twelve years ago, most GPs don’t work weekends any more, so patients go to A&E instead of their local clinic. Except – surprise, surprise – the human body doesn’t take the weekend off, just like professional hospitals don’t.

Because when you’re sick, you’re sick. And you can’t wait around haemorrhaging all over the place because some politico bribed doctors for votes by letting them loose on the golf course.

Yeah, but politicians don’t sign up to the Hippocratic Oath – or any other code of conduct, it seems. For yonks doctors knew that their whole career was on call, day or night. They even made house calls.

Now, thanks to Westminster – none of whom are practicing doctors, last time anyone looked – you either call an ambulance, or you go to A&E. An organisational train smash.

And that’s not just weekends. It’s every day.

Because appointment times are so backed up, it takes a month to get to your GP anyway. Even then, there’s hours in reception, waiting to get your 5 minutes. Not exactly helpful with that headache killing you, or the pain in your chest that won’t go away.

Wash the whole problem away

So how does washing our hands help?

Think about it. Most everyday ailments are caused by infection of some kind. Tummy troubles, respiratory problems, allergies – viruses or bacteria at work to make you feel lousy.

And how do you catch them?

By swallowing them, or breathing them in, or sometimes by absorption through the skin. Nearly always introduced into your body by your hands – those things you do everything with – touch, feel, hold, grab, move, rub, scratch. Oh yes, and eat.

At the same time, we all know the importance of hygiene – that there are viruses and bacteria everywhere, waiting to do us down. But somehow washing our hands never seems to be on the radar.

We’re too OK, most of the time. Unaware that our hands become loaded with germs with everything we do. That they need constant “de-germing” to keep us safe. And that ordinary soap and water for 45 seconds will get rid of 99.9% of them.

Dishing the dirt – on ourselves

It’s more like we have a death wish. Because, believe it or not:

OK, so if 95% of us aren’t washing our hands properly, how many of us are falling ill from side-stepping 45 seconds of soap and water?

Probably at least half – maybe even a lot more.

But suppose we DID remember – and DID NOT fall ill as a result?

No need to go to the Doc at all, hey? No need to run to the NHS because the Doc’s not available. No crowds, no hours of waiting, no A&E staff stressed out from non-stop pressure. Problem sorted.

And all from 45 seconds of easy self hygiene.

Brexit from germs

A lot better than the politicians can do, because they’ll never get it right. Unless they can see votes coming out of soap and water, they won’t think about it anyway. They play best at down and dirty – and we’re all paying for it.

Wash our hands of them and our £107 billion NHS organisation suddenly becomes the amazing support mechanism it’s supposed to be. Brexit from germs.

Not bad for 45 seconds.

God Save the Queen.

Copyright: nomadsoul1 / 123RF Stock Photo and dolgachov/ 123RF Stock Photo

Stop workplace germs – and buy a whole new NHS (twice over)

Twin doctors
Double value. More time, more beds, better treatment – make workplace germs go away and NHS problems go away too

Relax, stop worrying. We really can have a whole new NHS twice over – just by eliminating workplace germs.

Big numbers?

Sure.

Which just shows you how much money leaks away when germs get the upper hand.

Get ready for some jaw-dropping math.

According to the NHS’s own figures, planned expenditure for 2016/17 is £120.611bn.  On top of which is the current deficit – a whopping £2.45 billion.

Black hole, about to go away

Put the two together, and you get £123.061 billion.

Double it, and that comes to £246.122 billion.

OK, so putting the NHS to one side for a moment, how about this?

The fact that being sick off work costs British employers a monumental £29 billion, according to business experts PWC.

And even worse, that “presenteeism” – when people are unwell but come to work anyway – costs TEN TIMES that – a mind-boggling £290 billion.

More than double present NHS bankroll needs – with around £44 billion in change – about what British businesses pay in corporation tax.

Uh huh.

Reaching for the impossible

So what kind of magic wand would it take to disappear Britain’s combined off sick and unwell at work costs? Impossible, right?

Not exactly.

Sure, it’s not just germs that make people take off sick – or struggle through the working day. There’s musculoskeletal problems, like back pain and neck ache. Stress, depression and mental anguish. All medical, but not germ-related.

But around 85% of us agree that the major cause of working life grief is minor ailments. Colds, flu, tummy bugs, that sort of thing.

And 85% of £290 billion is..?

You guessed it, £246 billion. The cost of launching a whole new NHS twice over – all caused by germs.

Which says, stop the germs – and we stop £246 billion every year going down the plughole.

Basically impossible, right?

WRONG!

All hyped up, safe and secure

By misting up workplaces daily with ionised hydrogen peroxide after staff have gone home – all viruses and bacteria are eliminated, oxidised to nothing.

Next morning, when staff come in, the whole place is sterile. To a Log-6 Sterility Assurance Level – 99.9999% germs gone.

Yeah OK, people bring in fresh germs with them. On their skin and clothing, from whatever they might have wrong with them – and their own personal germ cloud.

But the germ threshold is zero at start the day, so any cross-contamination is minimised. Fewer germs to catch, less chance of feeling off colour – productivity nudges closer to 100%.

Press button easy

And the miracle machine that does all this?

It’s not a miracle at all, it’s a Hypersteriliser. A wheelie-bin sized automatic unit that ensures maximum dispersal of safe, low concentration, germ-killing hydrogen peroxide – the same stuff our own bodies produce to fight infection.

And it spreads across all surfaces and behind them, into all cracks and crevices, and throughout all airspace. Actively forced there by electrostatic charge.

Contact time for destroying germs is only seconds, though dispersal does take time, depending on room size. Forty minutes usually, and you’re done. The whole place is sterile.

Clawing money back from germs

Which neatly plugs productivity losses caused by absenteeism and presenteeism together. Effectively releasing one-third more work capability without extra cost.

The trick now of course is to persuade employers to donate all this money to the NHS.

They can certainly afford it.

And with sick leave absences down by 85%, the demands on the system will be so much less too. Shorter waiting times in A&E. More beds available. Adequate time for intricate surgery. Generous time for recovery under care.

So if a staff member does go down with something, they’ll be treated quicker and back sooner.  And that goes for all the other ailments too. The musculoskeletal jobbies and that lot. Because we’re all of us susceptible.

Including that heavyweight MD with the bad back that puts her out of action three days in ten. There’s a whole new NHS waiting ready to look after her. In fact, two for the price of one.

And hello, hello, the doctor WILL see her now.

Picture Copyright: citalliance / 123RF Stock Photo

So you escaped norovirus. Will you be so lucky when it comes back?

Escaping businessman
If it can come back to curse cruise ships four times in a row, it can come back to nail you too

It’s called “projectile vomiting” – a norovirus specialty. And you’re lucky you’ve never experienced it.

Yet.

Because, count on it – if your workplace has just been through an outbreak, that nasty norovirus is sure as eggs coming back. That projectile vomiting guarantees it.

The super-nasty gut bug

It’s just one of the ways this super-contagious health horror spreads itself. A gut-wrenching upchuck so violent it reaches across a whole room. So when some poor cleaner come to clear up the accident on the office carpet, all kinds of traces are left behind.

On the opposite wall, under the furthest desk, in the coils of computer cabling in the corner, or just floating in the air. It’s a virulent virus too – just 10 microscopic particles are enough to infect you. Contagious flu takes 25.

And at just 27 nanometres across, its particles are smaller than smoke – so light in the air they may never come down. But when they do, they’re able to survive on surfaces for weeks or more. All on things that never get cleaned – lift buttons, light switches, touchscreens and keypads.

Plus it’s not just the vomiting. The diarrhoea is violent too – equally able to spread in the air, to get itself everywhere despite meticulous scrubbing. Not to mention the end-of-the-world tummy cramps you have to live with. Unless you’re lucky.

So yes, you might have escaped the first outbreak. But unless your cleaning team have got into every nook and cranny – as well as scrubbing the air… You’re right in the line of fire when this boomerang baby comes bouncing back. And you’re gonna get it. Especially since outbreaks this year are up 45%.

Bad for business too

Unless of course, lucky for you, you have defensive measures. You’re ready with protection against this recurring vomiting bug that can cost thousands in sick pay, lost production, delayed contracts and missed opportunities.  And a bill to the NHS of a whopping £100 million a year.

Which means a Hypersteriliser and nothing less – the world’s best health protection system.

Press a button and the thing generates a dry superfine mist of ionised hydrogen peroxide that reaches everywhere, dispersed by electrostatic charge. That same charge grabs at ALL viruses and bacteria like a magnet. Oxygen atoms rip through them, oxidising them to oblivion.

Germ-free and safe

40 minutes later, the place is sterile. All surfaces, walls, ceiling and floor – even the air is bare of any microbes. No viruses, no bacteria, norovirus ripped to pieces along with its brothers and sisters. Safe, secure and germ-free.

Will norovirus be back after that? Not unless one of your staff walks in after sick leave without washing their hands and hits the button on the photocopier.

But that’s not going to happen is it? Because lucky you has already put packs of antibacterial wipes on every desk. The only thing that’s coming back now is your productivity level.

Could have been nasty, but with all that one-touch button-pushing,  you never felt a thing.

Lucky you.

Picture Copyright: olegdudko / 123RF Stock Photo

Revealed: more dirt on the NHS crisis

Payoff
Throw money at the NHS all we like, the dirt will still be there

Over-crowding, check. Long waiting times, check. Not enough beds, check. Not enough doctors, check. Most of the dirty work has been done already.

Not by medics. By Westminster. Put a bunch of politicos together and they’ll screw up anything.

Disorganised chaos

Which is how come we have GPs only working 9 to 5 and not weekends – some damn fool renegotiated their contracts.

The same bunch of idiots also shut all the care homes – so the old folks had no place to go.

Oh yeah, and because they know more about medicine than anyone else in the universe, they instituted targets and 5 minute consultation slots, so most diagnoses are only thumb-suck and people go home worse than they started.

And twenty-four hour drinking – double and triple injuries, accidents and liver-related issues.

Oh, and of course, mindless immigration.

Welcome to our country, we have no facilities to support you, so you can live in a paper bag. What do you mean, your whole family is sick?

Nice one, hey? But they’re who we voted for and that’s the service we pay taxes on. We’ve lucked it on ourselves.

Our own fault

Actually, we really have. Because aside from these Westminster-driven overcrowding and logistical shortfalls, most NHS issues are driven by two things – dirt and antibiotics damage.

The dirt is all of us, because our personal  hygiene is so appalling. That’s the only word for it. The only reason we’re not permanently sick is the compensating level of sanitation organised around us. Safe water to drink, effective sewage, clean streets, regular rubbish removal. Take them away and we’d all be cholera cases.

Because pretty well most of us are dirty all the time – particularly our hands, which touch everything – the major source of infection transfer. Don’t believe it? The view in the mirror is not nice.

Take out accidents, because they can happen to anyone – and we’re left with a high proportion of people suffering ailments and illnesses brought on by their own lack of hygiene. In workplaces alone less than half of us have accidents, so the rest comes down to dirt.

Dirt, unclean hands and bodies, unchecked infection, inevitable illness.

If we washed our hands regularly – certainly before food and after the loo every time, we’d take more than 50% of cases away from GPs – more than 50% of cases away from A&E.

Amazing, huh? Half the NHS budget in an instant. Soap and water beats billions of pounds of salaries and investment.

And for the real dirt

Which leaves antibiotics damage.

Not so easy, this one.

We think of antibiotics as amazing rescue medicines – and yes they are, in an emergency.

Trouble is, they work by killing bacteria – which is fine as long as they only kill the “bad guy” bacteria making us ill. Unfortunately, they kill a lot wider than that – which destroys or damages a lot of the vitally necessary “good guy” bacteria we each of us have living in our own gut – to handle digestion, manage our immune systems, and a thousand other essential functions.

And the bad news is, we’re exposed to antibiotics all the time – not from medicine, but from food. They’re the farmer’s miracle growth promoter – shovelled into feedstuffs for every meal, accelerating development of livestock and plant crops four and five times bigger and faster.

We eat plants and animals, we swallow the antibiotics too – so we get bigger, faster as well. Which is why two thirds of us are now overweight or obese – and a third of our children too – at a cost to the NHS of £73 billion a year.  Ripe candidates for type 2 diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

Plus all the other glitches to our immune systems. Like allergies we never used to have – asthma, rhinitis, food intolerance, dermatitis, eczema, hay fever, dust, mould, nuts, coeliac disease – the list is endless.

And all the while, our immune systems become less and less resilient, more prone to the slightest infection. More at risk from the billions and billions of viruses and bacteria that surround us every second of every day. Microscopic organisms, invisible but deadly,  nano-dirt in the air and on every surface around us.

Plenty more cases to send to A&E. Long-term illnesses with slow debilitation. At the rate we’re going, ALL of us could wind up in hospital – and the NHS would sink without trace.

How we’ll survive

OK, so we can wash our hands, that’s Defence One.

Defence Two is to sterilise our surroundings, keeping them safe as our resistance diminishes. Not the great outdoors of course, that’s impossible. But we can protect our enclosed living spaces, homes, schools, workplaces, hotels, restaurants, even planes and trains and ships.

All it takes is a regular mist-up of safe and eco-friendly ionised hydrogen peroxide. A dry spray that reaches deep into cracks and crevices, behind and under objects, hard up against walls and ceilings, and of course across every inch of flat surface. Forty minutes and all viruses and bacteria are destroyed. No germs, anywhere.

Waiting for Westminster – again

Now it’s up to the politicos to get antibiotics out of our food chain – to get them under control with proper protective legislation, to stop the health-sapping drift to obesity that all of us have, and will continue to have, until the drugs are out of our diet.

And that’s really the dirt. Because so many of us are already sick or sickening needlessly from Westminster’s negligence. Take away the health threat and the NHS stands a fighting chance of being the service it ought to be.

Oh yeah, as long as we don’t forget to wash our hands all the time as well – the other main cause of illnesses everywhere. It’s a personal responsibility none of us can step away from.

Picture Copyright: nito500 / 123RF Stock Photo

Revealed: biggest cause of hospital-acquired bugs

J'accuse - girl pointing
Don’t blame the doctors and nurses, they’re at least trying

Humour us on this one.

Go to your local hospital – the biggest one preferably.

Smile at the reception people and go stand in the corridor just beyond.

Now watch.

Busy, isn’t it?

The world in a hurry

Lots of people in. Lots of people out. Medics, support workers, delivery people, visitors.

Depending on the time of day, more than 60 a minute.

And all in a rush. The only people taking their time are in wheelchairs or on crutches.

Rush, rush, rush.

Notice something else.

See those broad red stripes on the wall with the dispensers at chest level? Can’t really miss them, can you? Like a fire engine on wedding cake. Totally in your face.

That’s the sanitising station – a hygiene stop to treat hands with disinfecting alcohol gel. Three dispensers next to each other, on both sides of the corridor. Well, 60 people a minute, they need them.

Check how the professional people use the things. Brisk step up, squidge-squidge, step away to allow the next one, working the hands, fingers intertwined, making sure it gets everywhere – palms, backs, wrists – still at it as they move down the corridor.

In a rush of course, always on the go – but taking nearly two minutes to do the thing properly.

OK, so how about everybody else?

Here they come, rushing in to see Aunt Joey, Cousin Bob, sick Mummy, or brother Andrew.

Shouldn’t you..?

Hey, wait a minute, what are you doing..?

Stop!

Amazing, hey?

Invisible life-savers

Bright red stripe, all the way across the wall and the floor. Invisible.

Either that, or they’re colour-blind.

Nah! Not that many people – never. Fact is though, that they just don’t see it.

60 people a minute – and not all professionals. Ordinary blokes and blokesses. Straight through like there was nothing there. And all that gunk on their hands from the big wide world.

Dirt, grime, sauce from lunch, bits of poo from the last-minute dump before they came – because don’t argue, 62% of men and 40% of women NEVER wash their hands after going to the toilet.

Hang on, though. This is the main entrance – there’s other sanitising stations further inside. Go on! Follow up and see.

No-go at the lift lobby. No-go on the stairs. Not even stopping at the entrance to the ward. Straight through to Joey/Bob/Mummy/Andrew.

Ew!

Never mind this is a hospital, never mind there’s open wounds or anything.

Kiss-kiss, hug-hug – hands all over each other.

An open ticket for e.coli, salmonella, c. difficile, campylobacter, MRSA, colds, flu, norovirus – or anything else that’s on the go at the moment.

The elephant in the room, isn’t it? And you’ve just seen it for yourself. THE major cause of all kinds of infection in hospitals.

And that’s the reality.

Forget today’s paper with its shock horror headlines about the NHS. It’s not about staff inadequacies, failure of care, or lapse in procedures.

The real bad guys

It’s everyday visitors.

People straight in from outside without a hint of hygiene. Thoughtless, careless, couldn’t give a stuff.

Not until it’s them who’s in here after chopping off a finger. Them, with MRSA turning into runaway sepsis. Can’t find a doctor or nurse to take care of things? And who’s stupid fault is it there are so many people in here with complications in the first place?

The NHS takes a lot of flack because of people like that. Always hard-pressed, always in an emergency, swamped by people too full of themselves to have any consideration for others.

Sure they’ve got problems – you try running your hardest without a break for days on end and see how you score. So they don’t need more stupidity lucked on them by visitors.

Yeah, lots of finger-pointing by the holies – the service isn’t up to the job. But same like always, it’s one finger pointing forwards – and three fingers pointing back.

The biggest cause of hospital bugs? Carelessness by people like you and me.

OK, it’s not difficult – just go ahead and use the gel!

How to make 95% of your illnesses go away

Girl showing off hands
Wash your hands regularly and you
need never go to hospital again

A few ground rules.

Let’s not include upsets caused by your mind. No romantic distresses, job apprehensions, exam nerves or stress-related angst.

We’re talking genuine sicknesses here – like colds, flu or worse. Or tummy bugs that might start with diarrhoea and get nasty from there.

Yeah, you got gut ache

All the way from mild discomfort to hospital stuff – including monsters like typhoid. Pretty well anything you can eat or touch.

Are you ready?

Wash your hands.

That’s it. Just, wash your hands.

Ah, but you’ve got to do it properly. Because though all of us claim we wash our hands, 95% of us don’t do it properly, or even at all.

Don’t believe it?

Researchers at Michigan State University hid in bathrooms and recorded physical evidence. Seems most of us waggle our hands under the tap and that’s it.

Ah, but that’s Yanks, you say. We know better here.

Oh yeah? According to a recent survey right here in UK, 62% of men and 40% of women admitted that they didn’t even bother.

Uh huh. So that’s a whole bunch of us waltzing round with poo and wee on our hands.

You ready for the next yucky? We’re not just waltzing around, but we’re touching our faces 2,000 – 3,000 times a day. Transferring invisible gunk to our eyes, mouth and nose – exactly the same passages germs use to get in – over and over, like we WANT to catch a bug.

Go away, bugs!

Which makes it kind of unsurprising when we do. We’re so unhygienic we DESERVE to come down with something – at least norovirus or one of those other nasties that gives us the runs.

Worse than that, we use those same yucky hands to eat. Sure, they don’t look yucky, but those billions of viruses and bacteria living on there are so small, how the hell would we know?

OK, so you’re ambitious and pushing your career, so busy you often eat at your desk – burger and chips while you check your business pitches – multi-tasking so your bosses love you.

You got it – those same greasy fingers all over your keyboard and phone.

And when was the last time you wiped either of them down – last week, last month, last year? So that’s burger and chips on top of the chicken fajitas from yesterday, and the egg salad mayonnaise on wholewheat from the day before.

No wonder experts reckon you’ve got upwards of 10 million disease-causing bacteria living there – that place is a zoo!

Run to the Doc

So who’s fault is it if one of these bugs riding round on your hands decides to hit you with an infection? You and the other 65 million people living in bonny UK – all gumming up the works to see your GP, or running to A&E with your tummy bug because you can’t get an appointment?

And we have the nerve to say that our NHS services can’t cope!

With not even a guilty conscience that all we have to do is use a little soap and water after the loo and before eating to make all those ailments go away. Aren’t we heartily ashamed of ourselves?

We should be. So to pull our thinking straight about something we all know, here’s a polite hand-washing reminder from America’s health heavyweights, the Centers for Disease Control – the same people who safeguard the world against Ebola, malaria, TB, diabetes and all the other more serious challenges or doctors are fighting with every day.

Easy, huh?

Just wash your hands and everything goes away. (Tweet this)

No probs

You don’t have to buy Imodium because your tummy’s fine. Or get the Doc to check your chest because your lungs are clear. Or have your appendix removed because it’s fine.

Super-boring, nothing to talk about, and you should live to be a hundred.

Not allergic to soap are you? So use a sanitising gel. Carry one with you always, because you can’t always get to a bathroom.

Mind how you go though, clean hands can’t protect you from accidents.

You’re already covered in germs, so why aren’t you sick?

Saisfied girl
If your hands are clean, you’re safe for life!

Germs are everywhere.

Outside you, all over your body.

Inside you too – as much as 6 pounds of them. Smaller than the eye can see, which means billions and billions. Like, more than 60 billion in your mouth alone – more than the number of people on Earth.

Yes, you’re covered in germs – and you’re still walking around, happy as Larry.

Living with danger

First off, your immune system is up and running, keeping you out of trouble. Like a Star Trek force-field, it prevents infections happening before they start.

That cut on your hand, for instance. It bled a bit, so you sucked at it until it stopped. Maybe washed it, but that made it bleed more. So you held a tissue over it before it stopped you doing stuff – and then you forgot about it.

A cut, on your hand. Which you use for everything. Getting goo in it, dirt and crud. Petrol even, from filling the car. Dirty water, clean water, hair gel, raw food. See how your force-field protects you?

And it’s stronger, more effective for all the dirt you used to eat as a kid. All the bacteria types it learnt about and sussed how to handle. The body’s bio-database, keeping you healthy.

The 2% bad guys

Second, not all germs are bad. Only around 2% contain harmful pathogens that can actually do you damage. The rest are either benign, just coasting until they find the REAL host they’re looking for, or even actively beneficial.

It’s not just pro-biotic yoghurt that’s good for you. Down in your gut there’s around 4,000 other bacteria types necessary for digestion. The body did a deal with them millennia ago – now they live inside you in perfect synergy – you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.

Thing is though, 2% of billions and billions is still a lot.

Which means you’re still at hazard if you don’t take care.

Snatch hold of a grab-handle in the Underground and you’re probably OK, even though it’s a high-touch object and certainly has germs on it. Just not the bad guys, most of the time.

Grab hold of a bed-rail visiting somebody in hospital though, and it’s another story. It’s a high-touch object too, but in hospital people are ill. A large number of ill people all in one place. So all that hand-washing they bang on about is to protect you as much as them.

And just because you’re safe most of the time doesn’t mean you should take chances.

Wash, wash, wash

Washing your hands after using the loo is like super-important. It’s impossible to avoid getting yuck on them, especially if you do a No 2.

But you’ve got to wash properly, not waggle your fingers under the tap. Use soap and work it around and through your fingers. Keep at it while you run all of “Happy Birthday” through your head. 90% of us never do this – and then wonder why we come down with norovirus or salmonella or e. coli or whatever.

Use a paper towel to dry off with too. Not a cloth one, even at home. Germs cling onto that big time.

And not one of those air dryers either – you know, the hot-blow squeegees? Just look around, on the walls and floor where they’ve got these things. Drops of water, right? Faecal-contaminated water from somebody’s bum.

So keep your hands to yourself and get out of Dodge, ASAP. You’re in a bad location where the 2% boys hang out – which is why public toilets have the bad rep that they do. They might look spic and span, but all that moisture – germs love it, floating around in the air.

And bad germs from our hands probably cause more illnesses than any other sources put together. We touch ourselves and each other – particularly our faces – and the 2% boys climb in through the soft mucous membranes of our eyes, nose and mouth.

Next thing you know, heave-ho, up-chuck, beebaa siren – and they’re rushing you into an over-crowded A&E.

A Little Bit of Soap

Yup, suddenly you’re another statistic for the punch-drunk NHS – continually reeling from admissions like yours – that could all have been prevented by a Little Bit of Soap, like the Jarmels sang in 1961.

If 95% of us don’t wash our hands properly, how many hospital cases could we prevent if we did? (Tweet this)

Which is why, wherever germs threaten, more and more places are starting to use a Hypersteriliser.

No, it won’t clean your hands – nor will it knock out the billions of good germs already inside your body.

But it will take out ALL germs – including the 2% boys – in any room that’s treated with its super-fine germ-killing hydrogen peroxide plasma mist.

No getting sick, no over-crowded hospital – even though you’re still covered in germs.

Have a nice day!

Let’s wash our hands of all our troubles

Uncle Fred in hospital bed
It’s a miracle – clean hands and Uncle Fred is well again

Shocked at the figures?

No, no, not for the election.

The ones from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) – which shockingly reveal that 1 in 16 people being treated by the NHS picks up an HAI (Hospital Acquired Infection).

Not just dirt, germs

You’re right, that means a landslide vote for better hygiene – specifically better hand washing.

Because while doctors and nurses know hand hygiene is a must, looks like the rest of us don’t have a clue.

Only a quarter of us wash our hands more than three times a day – and more than half of us never wash our hands after going to the toilet.

We just waggle our fingers under the tap and reckon that’s good enough. The great British fudge.

Put a filthy habit like that together with going to visit Uncle Fred in hospital – and no wonder the poor bloke winds up with MRSA (methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus) – a serious nasty that can’t be treated by antibiotics.

Oops.

People get ill

We don’t think of ourselves as filthy people. But more and more the evidence is there that just by washing our hands properly, we could make most of our sicknesses and ailments go away. (Tweet this)

Like 95% of them.

Imagine.

95% of our troubles taken off the NHS – we’d have empty beds all over the place and medical staff actually getting a regular good night’s sleep.

The equivalent of a whole new NHS alongside the one we already have.

That’s, wait for it – an investment worth another £100 billion.

£100 BILLION!

More than £1,500 for every man, woman and child in the country.

Better than the lottery

Just from washing our hands.

One heck of a prize for something so simple.

Fun too, if you treat it like those fantastic folks at Northampton General Hospital.

If that’s where Uncle Fred was admitted, looks like he’s in good hands.

Like we said yesterday, pass the soap.

Take a bow, NHS – your dedication is showing

Happy doctor
How wonderful to feel wanted
and treated like a human being

Apologies for the last few blog-less days.

An elderly relative needed an urgent hospital check-up – a blood clot and infection scare.

Negative, as it turned out – though a bit nerve-wracking as it happened.

Not that it was allowed to be a drama.

Special people

Without exception, hospital staff from reception to department administrators to nurses to doctors were all reassuring, calm and professional – nothing too much trouble – dignity and respect super-plus.

Doubly important when you’re over ninety and a bit unsure of this world whizzing round you.

Yes, there were waits. Long ones watching the clock while blood tests were processed and ultrasound time was found.

But things happened, somehow the busy schedule was opened up to accommodate this little old lady – all on top of the usual hectic pace that is the hospital norm.

The extra mile – every day

Yes, take a bow – everything about this experience was exemplary.

Nobody wants to be in hospital and it was two days out of everyday life. Tiring, drawn out – but inspiring in the company of staff amazingly adept at putting smiles on our faces.

In reassuring surroundings too.

Spend a few hours in a waiting room chair and you notice things like clean floors and dust-free furniture. Same thing with the inevitable loo-breaks. Clean, properly up kept, with every sanitising precaution visibly upheld.

All stuff that is really difficult in a super-busy place with several hundred people all doing different things to the best of their professional ability – dedicated, committed and involved like you’ll never find in a supermarket or clothing store.

Horrible people get treated nice too

Sure, there were people all around who moaned and complained.

One look at their faces though, it was obvious they will always whinge about something.

How have we become so awful that we have to bellyache all the time – especially with so many people trying to help us?

A lot of people seem to bad mouth the NHS – and maybe they have reason. But two full days going through the system without anyone putting a foot wrong seemed to be the norm in this hospital – not at all an exception.

So, a message to the moaners on behalf of NHS staff who are far too polite to say:

“Shut up, you lot! Let us get on with our jobs.”

Thank you folks, you were wonderful.

Maybe we can do the same for you some day.