OOOH, I say!
Here’s a sight that will have EastEnders star Dot Cotton gossiping over the dirty washing in the launderette in Albert Square.
And that’s because Dot is one of a host of iconic soap legends taking centre stage in a new Doncaster health campaign urging people to become ‘soap stars’ themselves.
Staff from Doncaster and Bassetlaw Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust have been transformed into some of Britain’s best loved characters for the campaign encouraging patients, visitors and hospital workers to wash their hands.
Featuring the tagline ‘Soap Stars Save Lives’, the campaign takes a humorous approach to communicating a serious message – the importance of everyone washing their hands well with soap and warm water to keep patients safe from infections like MRSA and norovirus.
The posters were unveiled at Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Bassetlaw Hospital and Mexborough Montagu Hospital, and feature five members of the trust’s infection prevention and control team.
Specialist infection prevention and control nurse Louise Lowry, who portrays Sharon from EastEnders on the posters, said: “It was very funny casting each other and then getting our costumes together in our own time.
“We’re all big soap fans and there was universal agreement that Jerry Day and Miriam Boyack would be perfect as Kat and Alfie Moon from EastEnders.
“Our jaws really hit the floor, though, when we saw Paula Johnson dressed up as Dot Cotton – she was so amazing that it was just like being in the launderette in Albert Square instead of a hospital up north!”
So far, the posters have gone down well with patients, staff and hospital visitors by explaining how something as simple as washing your hands can make a massive difference in preventing serious infections.
“People don’t always realise that bacteria, viruses and other bugs can easily be transferred from person to person just by touching everyday objects like door handles and telephones,” said Bev Bacon, lead nurse for infection prevention and control.
She stars as Emily Bishop from Coronation Street on the posters.
“In a hospital setting, with patients whose immune systems may already be weak, it’s vitally important people get rid of those bugs by washing their hands regularly with soap and warm water, especially before eating or entering a patient area, and always after visiting the loo.”