Why soap and water washing is essential for UK practices faced with norovirus outbreaks

Teal portable handwash unit for patients in a doctor's surgery

The “stealthy virus that turns the body into a temporary zombie explosion”

Norovirus – often referred to as “the winter vomiting bug” can strike at any time of the year, though it is usually more prevalent during the winter months. It is essential that practices take all reasonable steps to help limit the opportunity for an outbreak – by the use of regular hand washing, according to a recent article on the Practice Business website.

The illness, described as “a particular hazard for the health service” is not just a risk because of the unpleasant and sometimes gruesomely spectacular symptoms, but also because the “…virus will cling to surfaces with tremendous sticking power, meaning it’s the gift that keeps on giving…and giving.”

Control with effective soap and running water washing

Removing the virus by way of a twenty second hand wash with soap and water is the most effective way of minimising the risk for any practice. Put aside the gels when norovirus is in the offing advises the report.

“Forget alcohol-based hand sanitisers – ethanol can’t break down the ‘capsid’ or barrier protecting the virus.”

The article provides advice on what to do during an outbreak and how to disinfect a home or surgery, such as flushing a toilet with the lid down so the particles aren’t aerosolised, steam cleaning carpets and the use of tried and trusted bleach.

It is also vitally important to help patients and staff alike to understand the sheer importance of effective hand washing, says the report.

Norovirus – what to do when the superbug strikes your practice »

Portable sinks enable effective hand washing for visitors as well as staff

The Teal range of portable hand wash units for GP practices and out of surgery consultations is available to purchase or hire.

The Teal range of mobile sinks includes the MediWashHygienius and Hygienius ProWashBigSynkSuper StalletteTEALwashHandeman XtraCompact Classic and WashStand.

How to choose the correct mobile sink »