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Hospital MSRA Hygene Rules Compromised for Religion

Discussion in 'Speaker's Corner' started by Spie, 11 Apr 2010.

  1. Spie

    Godfather

    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 13,055

    Muslim staff escape NHS hygiene rule

    No it's not a Daily Mail headline but a report in the Telegraph on a new Department of Health ruling.

    In addition ...

    I'm truly baffled by this. Either the hygiene rules are required or they are not. If they are, why are they being compromised by a person's religion and why is our Government saying this is OK?
     
  2. semi-pro waster

    Man of Honour

    Joined: 27 Sep 2004

    Posts: 25,829

    Location: Glasgow

    It does say in the article that disposable sleeves may be worn instead although doubts are expressed about how suitable that is.

    In general though I think I'd have to agree, it seems rather odd to make an exemption for a matter of patients health. If it's required then it should be universal as otherwise it would seem that all precautions taken by members of staff could be compromised by one member of staff not complying.
     
  3. oweneades

    Sgarrista

    Joined: 17 Jul 2005

    Posts: 9,156

    I have to agree 100%. For something as serious as cleanliness in hospitals there should be no exceptions to the rules for anyone.
     
  4. mollymoo

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 Mar 2009

    Posts: 3,010

    Location: North

    I only had to read the title and I knew that the thread would be about people not conforming due to their religious beliefs.

    The government need to grow a pair, especially now they are putting religion before peoples health and safety.
     
  5. Gaidin109

    Mobster

    Joined: 12 Jul 2009

    Posts: 4,878

    No-one regardless of their religious belief should be able to compromise the health or safety of another individual. Everyone has a choice, the choice to work in an environment where such necessary restrictions would impact on their belief system. Either they can abide by the rules or choose an occupation more able to serve their religious needs.

    It is important to note, especially in light of the recent ruling against the Christian nurse who was sacked for wearing her Crucifix, that these kind of compromises to a persons religion are not universally upheld for ALL religions.
     
  6. mollymoo

    Mobster

    Joined: 5 Mar 2009

    Posts: 3,010

    Location: North

    Reminds me of the thread about a Sikh policeman and riot helmets.
     
  7. Ricochet J

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Jun 2004

    Posts: 12,911

    Surely it's a different case between a Sikh policeman and riot helmets compared to a Sikh doctor who wants to wear a bangle whilst treating a patient?
     
  8. singh_uk

    Gangster

    Joined: 28 Aug 2006

    Posts: 120

    Wedding rings have always been exempt from the no-jewellry policy which probably pose a much higher risk of carrying infection than a Sikh bangle which can be alcohol-gel washed along with the hands inbetween patient contact.

    Not so sure about the disposable sleeves but it is up to the person wearing them to change them between patient - just like it is up to the nurse/doctor to wash their hands between contact with patients (many do not).
     
  9. purexxevil

    Gangster

    Joined: 24 Nov 2008

    Posts: 321

    Location: North West UK

    This is utterly ridiculous, if you can't comply with the hygiene requirements, you shouldn't be working at the hospital, as it is crucial, irrespective of religion.

    But Gaidin109 is totally right about compromises for religion are not upheld for all religions.
     
  10. Ricochet J

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Jun 2004

    Posts: 12,911

    Agreed. As long as it is done properly with Kara's (Sikh bangle) being washed properly whilst washing the hands, and the disposable sleeves being changed inbetween seeing patients then I don't see what the big fuss is about.
     
  11. chiLLZ

    Gangster

    Joined: 2 Jan 2009

    Posts: 416

    completely unacceptable :mad:
     
  12. OpenToSuggestions

    Capodecina

    Joined: 5 Aug 2006

    Posts: 11,017

    Location: Derbyshire

    If I had a doctor who refused to wash properly before doing some procedure on me, I would demand I had another doctor.

    What I don't get is why doctors are religous?! Surely they understand the body and where it came from more than anyone else.
     
  13. Ricochet J

    Capodecina

    Joined: 29 Jun 2004

    Posts: 12,911

    I suggest you read the thread, and provide more engaging replies. If you can not do this, Speakers Corner is not for you.

    So would I. How would you know if a doctor has refused to wash properly prior to treating you?

    Einstein arguably was religious. He refused to follow a specific religion (despite being labelled a Jew) but did believe in God as "an entity to the lawful harmony of the world" (which is essentially what people of religion tend to think too). Einstein did a lot of work trying to discover the origins of the universe. Does that mean he can't be religious?
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2010
  14. singh_uk

    Gangster

    Joined: 28 Aug 2006

    Posts: 120

    Being in that environment on a daily basis, I'd say many of the best consultants and doctors I've seen are the laxest on infection control in the hospital.
     
  15. Deadbeat

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 May 2009

    Posts: 5,417

    Ha! What gave you your first clue? 'hygiene rules compromised'? 'Comprimised for religion'? Possibly a clever amalgamation of the two?

    On the face of it, this is yet another example of the all-too prevalent concept of religion taking charge over common sense. In many such cases, particularly in a case where another individual can come to harm, I would be in complete support of the rule being enforced as a blanket SOP across all staff members - not so much the bangles, as in this situation it'd be very easy to sanitise them in the same way that wedding rings are supposedly taken into consideration. However, it's also a perfect illustration of why such a judgement doesn't make much difference - weding rings are supposed to be moved up and down the finger to ensure thorough decontamination under their customary resting place, but this is an extremely rare sight in any ward or department, especially with the alcohol hand rubs. Similarly, the number of doctors who don't roll up their sleeves make bare forearms far from a constant - and this ties in to a hundred other little things that medical staff are supposed to do at regular intervals, which they either don't do as often as they should or simply don't do at all.

    Not that it's any excuse for exceptions to such a basic sanitary measure. Unfortunately it's like recycling, or washing your hands after you've been to the toilet - there's not much point unless everyone does it.
     
  16. RDM

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Feb 2007

    Posts: 20,607

    The last time I was in hospital the doctor normally used the gel dispenser at the end of the bed. So it is relatively easy to see.

    While certainly spiritual it is very hard to argue that Einstein was at all religious, with the following quote from a letter he wrote a year before his death being somewhat direct and to the point.

    No reasonable follower of religion would have issue with the hygiene rules so I do not see why an exemption should be made. Either the rules are necessary for hygiene reasons, in which case your religion should not be an excuse to put others at risk, or they are not necessary and so noone should have to follow them.
     
  17. RDM

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Feb 2007

    Posts: 20,607

    I am struggling to see why a bangle can be washed while a wedding ring cannot? I would also be happy to remove the wedding ring from the list of exemptions. I am assuming from your user name you are a Sikh, do you feel that your religion should be given an exemption even if it does pose an increased risk to the patient?
     
  18. r3loaded

    Gangster

    Joined: 20 Mar 2006

    Posts: 383

    Location: Manchester, UK

    Why's the government so incapable of putting its foot down when it comes to religion? It's a clear case of patient safety, which I believe is rather more important than religious beliefs (and I suspect even this is BS - nowhere in the Koran does it say that women should cover their arms/hair/faces, only to "dress modestly").

    It's odd to think how Turkey, a majority Muslim country, can implement a headscarf ban at public universities, but the UK would never dare even speaking of such a ban.
     
  19. singh_uk

    Gangster

    Joined: 28 Aug 2006

    Posts: 120

    A bangle is loose, whereas a wedding ring can be so tight that it cannot even be moved.


    When I work in the hospital I wear a larger bangle which fits above my elbow, so I have found my own way to accomodate myself with previous NHS rules.

    If wearing a bangle drawn up to the top of the forearm poses an increased risk to patients, I would encourage others to do the same thing I do, as I agree, the patients health is always paramount.

    However, since I feel that a washed bangle up to upper forearm level poses no further risk than an unwashed forearm (doctors generally wash/gel only their hands, unless in theatre), I see no problem with the change in the rules.
     
  20. Deadbeat

    Soldato

    Joined: 26 May 2009

    Posts: 5,417

    As pointed out, possibly only by me, the bangle isn't a major issue. Standard procedure is to wash a hand's length up your forearm, which is a good 2/3rds of the way to your elbow, and only washing to the wrists is another of those minor transgressions which I highlighted. Wedding rings are on far roo tight if they can't be moved up or down, at least to the knuckle, and anyone with a working knowledge of physiology, or even a sub-par helping of common sense, would be able to see the risk it poses and take action. Finally, it's the sleeves that people should be more concerned with. Fabric that far down your arm is a serious infection risk when working with ill people, and not just those suffering directly from a contagious infection.

    I personally have no issue with bangles as long as they're treated with the respect due such an infection risk, the same as other exempt jewellery (wedding rings), but there's no way to acceptably manage long sleeves in such an environment, and it's much more a risk to the people the doctor, nurse or HCA is treating than to the healthcare professional themselves. While I respect other people's beliefs, that's a clear and avoidable risk that shouldn't be exempt on the grounds of potential offence.

    Edit: removed the last sentence, because it was unnecessarily abrasive and antagonistic.
     
    Last edited: 11 Apr 2010