Measures introduced to stop problem patients drinking alcoholic hand gels at King George Hospital

Patients drinking hand sanitising gels in attempts to get drunk have become “more of an issue” in recent years, Redbridge’s hospital trust

Barking, Havering and Redbridge University Hospitals NHS Trust (BHRUT) insists it now has the measures in place to stop alcoholics drinking the hand gel from its premises, including removing any free-standing containers.

Sacha Coodye, matron for infection prevention and control at BHRUT, said: “Alcohol-based hand wash is a vital tool in combating the spread of bugs and we actively encourage everybody to use it, because the cleanliness and safety of patients is a priority.”

Issues regarding the theft of hand alcohol sanitisers from hospitals can be costly for the trust and the NHS; it can also be potentially very dangerous for patients.

The trust confirmed it had one repeated case of a patient consuming hand sanitizing gel at Queen’s Hospital, Rom Valley Way, Romford.

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According to a BHRUT spokesman, long-term hand gel manufacturer Spirigel has been approached to change the name from “alcohol” to “sanitiser”.

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