Earth Day: Gloves don't protect you, clean hands do

22 Apr 2024, 5:13 p.m.

On Earth Day on 22 April 2024, we are part of a One Gloucestershire campaign designed to promote the correct use of gloves, which are often worn unnecessarily

Across the system here in Gloucestershire, we are aiming to achieve a 30% reduction in the use of gloves as we know that approximately 40% of glove use is inappropriate!

The campaign message is: Gloves don’t protect you, clean hands do

  • At Gloucestershire Hospitals alone, we use 67,653 boxes of gloves per year, which is over 6 million single gloves, costing £328,117.05.
  • The carbon factor is 0.026 kgCO2e per glove so with 6 million that equals 156 tonnes of CO2e
  • This is equal to 388 return trips by car from Land’s End to John O’Groats!

Our Infection Prevention and Control teams are reminding colleagues that gloves are sometimes being used unnecessarily:

  • Gloves being used for observations of patients: not needed.
  • Gloves worn to push wheelchairs and beds around the hospital: not needed.
  • Gloves are worn to give out food, assist to feed patients and remove plates: not needed.
  • Gloves are kept on unnecessarily- so are seen on when typing on the computer or answering the phone: not needed.
  • Gloves are not changed between different activities for the same patient (not safe).
  • Gloves are used to prepare IV medications - in most cases not needed