Publish date: 05 March 2024

Over half a million non-sterile blue gloves have been saved from landfill since we launched our Gloves Off initiative in May last year.

This reduction in glove use has saved around 15 tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere, roughly the same as driving 40,000 miles in an average petrol car. This is alongside delivering a cost saving to date of around £50,000.  

As long as there is no risk from blood or bodily fluids, and the patient is not infectious, staff do not need to wear single use non-sterile nitrile gloves when:  

  • Taking patients’ vitals (e.g. blood pressure)  
  • Moving patients   
  • Assisting patients with food or drink  
  • Examining or touching a patient  
  • Giving vaccinations  
  • Administration tasks near patients (e.g. using the computer)  
  • Moving a patient’s belongings

Excellent hand hygiene remains expected in all situations, even when gloves are required.  

The project has been well received by all areas, and the sustainability team have even been approached by The Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia about implementing a similar project, after the team there learned about it online. 

Jam Phil De La Pena, deputy charge nurse, said: "It was fun leading the gloves off campaign in T10 medical. There is a significant drop of glove use in the ward since we started the campaign and I hope that the team will continue this practice and keep in mind sustainability and infection control."

Lisa Worden, staff nurse, said: "Gloves Off has produced some interesting discussions and made us examine our practice. Putting on gloves to do anything for our patients had become a habit, we are now questioning whether gloves are really needed for a particular activity. It is exciting seeing our glove usage fall.”