First a praise. The girls' swabs came back clear, no nasty growths whatsoever in any of the most growth promoting parts of their bodies (groin, armpit, stoma and nose). Hurrah. Two girls, officially MRSA free now - in Mog's case, this has taken a year so that is excellent news.
Now the dilemma. Since hearing that the girls were infected (or in Mog's case, still infected), our carers have been superbly brilliant at maintaining a hygienic environment. Gloves, aprons and alcohol gel have all been used freely in addition to handwashing, they have been washing hands when switching from one girl to another, and inbetween different parts of the girls' care, all the things we are all supposed to do all the time. They're doing this because they know the girls have nasty lurgies, and they do not want to carry them home to their families or pass them on to other vulnerable children.
If I tell them, the hygiene standards will drop. Aprons will disappear (to be fair, I'm not convinced how much protection is given by a plastic pinny anyway, but there we go), glove consumption will be dramatically reduced (again, I'm not certain that gloves need to be worn whilst spoon feeding, but I'd like them to continue to wear them for pad changes), and crucially, handwashing will become perfunctory and the many bottles of alcohol gel will start moving to the back of the shelves again.
If I don't tell them, they will continue with the barrier nursing, but they will also be worried about the risks of passing the nasties on to other vulnerable children and to their own children and grandchildren.
My peace of mind or theirs is what it comes down to I suppose? I have to tell them, I can't leave them worrying. So how to tell them in a way which will ensure that they keep up the good standards?
I'm now sidetracking but I wonder if cloth aprons on a boil wash would be as effective as the plastic ones? I know they don't like to wear the plastic ones as they are so sweaty - they have my sympathy there. But if I ran up half a dozen real aprons and kept them just for caring, with pockets for gloves and spray etc., and had them on a hook by the door, I wonder if I could train them into wearing those to save their clothes and still keep the clean thing going. Hmmmmm.