Care workers: wash hands with soap and running water says new Government guidance

A CliniWash mobile handwashing sink in a care home

Why hand gels are not suitable under many circumstances

Understanding how and why infection is spread is crucial when it comes to effective infection prevention and control (or IPC). A thorough knowledge of IPC is essential says a recent UK Government guidance update which is targeted at care workers.

It is vital that care home and other staff not only wash their own hands well, but also help the people that they care for to do the same says the report.

The important role of soap and water washing

The Guidance advocates a full twenty second hand wash for all parties concerned before handling food or drink, before aseptic procedures or after coming into contact with blood or other body fluids.

“Hands should be washed with liquid soap and warm, running water and dried using paper towels.”

Alcohol based hand gels are of limited value, says the report, being totally unsuitable if hands are visibly dirty or when body fluids and blood are concerned.

And there are other circumstances when hand rubs should not be used says the report.

“When caring for someone with vomiting or diarrhoea you should make sure you wash your hands using soap and water. These illnesses can be caused by germs which are not destroyed by alcohol-based hand rub.”

Hands should also be washed when gloves are removed and after handling waste.

Best Practice: How to hand wash step by step images.

Infection prevention and control: quick guide for care workers »

The Teal CliniWash mobile handwash unit for care homes
The Teal CliniWash mobile handwash unit for care homes

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. 

Images (above) show Teal’s new CliniWash mobile handwash unit. Wheel it to anywhere it’s needed!

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 »