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Home > Patient information > Infection Prevention and Control > Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene (washing hands or using alcohol gel) is the single most important thing we can all do to stop the spread of infection. This is why you will find alcohol hand gel where care is carried out e.g at every bedside and you may also see staff in hospital and community settings carrying personal gel dispensers.

You should clean your hands using soap and water when you are visiting someone who has diarrhoea and/or vomiting and at other times alcohol hand gel is a good and quick alternative. If you are unsure which to use ask a member of staff.

It is important to clean your hands:-

  • after using the toilet
  • before eating or helping someone else to eat
  • after helping give care e.g. washing, dressing or using the toilet
  • on leaving a ward or department
  • after coughing or sneezing

Staff take hand hygiene seriously but sometimes when they are really busy they might not clean their hands as often as they should. So if you are worried that they have forgotten it’s OK to remind them. We all welcome your help in keeping you safe.

You will find our hand hygiene policy in the Standard Infection Control Precautions policy

You can expect staff to follow the World Health Organisation’s 5 moments for hand hygiene which are shown below:-