Hand hygiene

Clean hands

Hand hygiene is one of the simplest and most effective methods of reducing the transmission of infection.

All staff, patients and visitors are reminded about the importance of hand hygiene with either soap and water of alcohol gel. Alcohol gel is available at the entrances to the hospital sites and every ward/department. Visitors are encouraged to use it before and after visiting. The most important time for staff to perform hand decontamination is by the patient’s bedside.

You should wash your hands with soap and water:

  • whenever they are visibly dirty
  • after using the toilet/commode, nappy changing/handling potties
  • after sneezing/blowing your nose
  • after contact with blood or body fluid
  • before and after handling food
  • before and after handling any wounds or dressings
  • when visiting a patient with diarrhoea

Please note there are some occasions when the use of alcohol gel is not recommended and soap and water must be used including if your hands are visibly dirty or with a patient who has Clostridium difficile infection.