Bare Below the Elbows procedure change

Bare Below the Elbows procedure change

Watch on wrist

Following a national agreement, in the interest of ensuring best practice and improving patient safety, all UK ambulance trusts have adopted the NHS Bare Below the Elbows (BBE) policy. 

This means that no patient facing clinical staff will be able to wear a watch on their wrist, or any other wrist jewellery, or health monitors. This practice has been discussed for many years and is widely accepted in all other areas of the NHS and wider healthcare. It is acknowledged as being best practice. All of the other UK ambulance trusts have already implemented this change.

Wearing anything on your wrist, restricts your ability to perform hand hygiene effectively and, as such, puts your patients (and self) at an increased risk. Most staff already fully adopt BBE and use a fob watch, or wrist watch on their belt, but there has previously been an acceptance that staff may wear a wrist watch which is washable.

This has now been reviewed by the National Ambulance Service IPC (Infection, Prevention, Control) Group, who have found that this is not in line with best practice and not in the best interest of the patient.

The Trust will adopt this change with effect from the 1st December.

Published 28th November 2019