Hand Washing and Hygiene
This guidance is aimed at Leicestershire County Council staff and Social Care Service providers.
Hand washing is widely acknowledged to be the single most important activity for reducing the spread of infection from one person to another. We all think we know how to wash our hands but many of us do not do it properly. The 6 step hand hygiene procedure is endorsed by the Royal College of Nursing and is currently used in their Wipe It Out campaign on MRSA: RCN - Wipe it Out.
Effective hand washing ensures that no areas of the hand are missed.
Some germs can stay alive on hands for up to 3 hours and in that time can be spread to all the things we touch - including food and other people. So wash your hands regularly throughout the day.
- Before and after each work shift or visit.
- After handling potentially contaminated items such as waste, handkerchiefs, used linen, soiled dressings or medical equipment.
- Before putting on, and after removing, protective clothing.
- After using the toilet.
- Before eating, drinking or handling food.
- Before and after caring for a service user.
The Good Hand Washing Guide (1266kb .pdf) illustrates the Royal College of Nursing's 6 step hand hygiene procedure.
Page Last Updated: 13 May 2013