White coats and infectious ideas

It’s been in the news today that the government is set to ban white coats for doctors and other hospital workers. The reason given is that the long sleeves can carry infection and spread “superbugs” such as MRSA. While this may help in fighting the spread of infection, I can’t help thinking that a more serious problem is that cleaning services for around 30% of NHS hospitals (figures courtesy of Unison) is done by private contractors, who are inclined to cut corners to maximise profit margins. That the government is prepared to adopt measures like this, but not even consider the effect of the profit motive on essential services, suggests they are actually in need of the men in white coats.


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