Handwashing “the most important part of personal hygiene” in care homes – report

Drying hands after washing with a Teal portable sink

Soap and water wash essential if hands are physically dirty

A list of top ten tips for care home infection control, unsurprisingly, features as its first entry the need for appropriately diligent handwashing – and equally careful drying, according to a recent report on the Care Home Professional website.

The hygiene guide, produced by Miele has been provided to “help in the fight against transmittable infections” and to help protect care home residents, visitors and staff.

“Effective handwashing is still the most important part of personal hygiene. All parts of the hands and wrists should be washed, rinsed and dried on a disposable paper towel.”

Care home guidance and hand washing

The Government’s Department of Health and Social Care guidance for England Admission and care of residents in a care home during COVID-19, also places the highest priority on soap and water handwashing, which must be carried out meticulously and frequently.

“Washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential before and after all contact with the person being cared for, removal of protective clothing and cleaning of equipment and the environment.”

Gels are not sufficient if hands are “visibly dirty or soiled” states the guidance.

Visitors, residents and staff should have access to suitable hand washing facilities of course – so it is of vital importance that they are made available for everyone at the point of need. Everyone should be able to wash both upon arrival and before leaving the facility.

Miele offers Top 10 Tips for care home infection control »

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Mobile hand washing units for care homes and home care »

The units can provide back-up support for existing hand washing facilities, can be used in rest areas for residents, or in reception hallways for visitors and staff. 

They are easy to use and as they can be placed at point of need are ideal for residents, who may have restricted mobility, allowing them to have access to warm water in their own rooms.

How to choose the correct mobile sink »