NHS guidance for effective hand hygiene
Touch is seen as the “easiest way to spread infection”, making effective hand hygiene one of the most important things that can be undertaken to help curtail it, according to a recent article on the Cumberland News & Star website.
The report, released to coincide with the recently occurring World Hand Hygiene Day, was submitted by the North Cumbria Integrated Care NHS Foundation Trust (NCIC).
The article quotes NCIC’s deputy chief nurse Georgia Wright, who reflected on lessons learned during the pandemic, when hand washing was so important. But it’s not just the act of hand washing that’s key she says – it’s undertaking it well using sound techniques and for an appropriate duration.
“Doing it properly is one of the most important things you can do to help prevent and control the spread of many illnesses.”
Why soap and water washing is the gold standard
Ms Wright was quoted as saying that when someone is ill within a household, washing hands well “vastly reduces” the opportunity for the infection to spread either within the family or the local community. And she advised that it doesn’t pay to depend on hand sanitisers, on the grounds that they’re simply not the most effective hand hygiene option.
“Hand sanitiser is good for most things but soap and water is the gold standard because, while sanitiser is good at killing bacteria, but doesn’t kill norovirus and some other viruses.”
The report also lists key moments for the washing of hands, which include after blowing your nose or sneezing, after using the toilet, before eating or handling food and after touching animals, their food or, for example, cleaning their cages.
‘Good hand hygiene pivotal to maintaining good health’ »
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Mobile hand wash stations can also be hired »
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