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NHS body hands out tips on good hygiene

As milder weather arrives and bugs and germs start to thrive, NHS staff are encouraging people to wash their hands the way the best professionals do.

NHS Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group is supporting the World Health Organisation’s annual campaign ‘Save Lives: clean your hands’.

This year’s campaign day falls on Tuesday 5 May.

Hands are still one of the biggest spreaders of germs in the UK. Hand washing with warm water and soap is the most effective and inexpensive way to prevent the spread of germs and infections. Studies show it lowers the transmission of diarrhoea and colds both at work and home as well as in NHS facilities.

The NHS is asking everyone to wash their hands regularly during the day, using warm water and soap, to prevent spreading germs. Hands should be washed after every trip to the toilet and before and after preparing food.

The NHS professional handwash way involves 10 tips:

  1. Wet hands
  2. Apply enough handwash to cover all hand surfaces
  3. Rub hands palm to palm
  4. Right palm over the other hand with interlaced fingers and vice versa
  5. Palm to palm with fingers interlaced
  6. Backs of fingers to opposing palms with fingers interlocked
  7. Left thumb clasped in right palm and vice versa
  8. Rub clasped fingers of right hand in left palm and vice versa
  9. Rinse hands thoroughly
  10. Dry thoroughly.

In addition those that are visiting NHS hospitals, clinics and surgeries should follow instructions on hand hygiene by either using soap and water or hand gels provided. This is to help reduce infections like MRSA and Clostridium difficile in hospitals, and it can reduce the risk but not prevent the spread of norovirus. Anyone visiting patients should always ensure their hands are cleaned before entering or leaving a ward or clinical area.

GP and clinical lead for NHS Nottingham North and East Clinical Commissioning Group, Dr Paul Oliver said: “The importance of good hand hygiene is one of the earliest lessons we learn – yet we all see examples on a regular basis of poor attention to hand hygiene. The simple act of hand washing can help prevent the spread of germs that can cause flu, stomach bugs and other illnesses as well as healthcare associated infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.”

The NHS has produced a simple video showing the best way to wash your hands in the way that professionals are taught.

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