During September 2022, and All Party Parliamentary Group on Cleaning & Hygiene launched an Inquiry entitled “Embedding Effective Hygiene for a Resilient UK’. This is welcome as part of the important process of multisectoral stakeholders considering the lessons of COVID in the run-up to the national Inquiry. However, a radical rethink of the way we enhance resilience in public hygiene in the future is needed.
In 2021, the UK Government published its vision for a National Health Resilience Strtagey a “whole of society approach” to better-equip the UK’s adaptation to uncertainty and adversity, including future epidemics and pandemics. To achieve this, building “hygiene resilience” - including tackling antimicrobial resistance (AMR) - is fundamental. The pandemic prompted recognition that hygiene behaviour in public places - workplaces, schools, public transport, hospitality - is as important as it is in homes. To achieve the necessary fundamental changes in behaviour, a new three-point strategy for resilient hygiene in public health is required.
- Defining leadership
- Adopting a Targeted Hygiene approach
- Improving public understanding and achieving behaviour change
From the 1970s, when experts predicted the end of the era of infectious diseases, 2020 brought a pandemic with six million reported deaths, long-term serious health problems, and global disruption to public and economic life. To develop hygiene resilience, we need a radical rethink which assigns clear accountability for delivery, takes advantage of new scientific approaches to hygiene and behaviour change and rejects outdated approaches, myths and misunderstandings
The paper can be found at: Bloomfield SF, Hygiene resilience in Public Health – time for a fundamental rethink. The House 1st October 2022 https://www.politicshome.com/members/article/hygiene-resilience-in-public-health-time-for-a-fundamental-rethink