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Wye Valley NHS Trust

Hand hygiene

Information for patients and visitors

Hand hygiene is the most effective infection prevention measure to be undertaken.

Wye Valley NHS Trust has adopted the World Health Organisation’s five moments for hand hygiene, which are:

-           Before patient contact.
-           Before a clean or aseptic procedure.
-           After body fluid exposure.
-           After patient contact.
-           After contact with the patient’s surroundings.

Whilst you are a patient, hand hygiene should be performed: 

-           After using the toilet.
-           Before eating food.
-           After covering your mouth when coughing.
-           After blowing your nose.
-           Avoid touching any drips or tubes that enter your body and any wound dressings                  unnecessarily.

* If you are carrying out any of your own care, you should also follow below:

- before patient contact
- before a clean/aseptic procedure
- after bodily fluid exposure risk
- after patient contact
- after contact with patient surroundings

What should I do if hand hygiene is not pe rformed by a healthcare worker?

Please feel free to ask the healthcare worker if they have used alcohol gel or washed their hands if you have not seen them do so at the opportunities identified in the information above.

When should I wash and when should I use alcohol gel?

When hands are soiled, they must be washed. Alcohol gel can be used on clean hands.

What can visitors do to help?

Visitors are encouraged to use the alcohol gel on their hands as they enter and leave a ward or clinical area.  

How should I wash my hands?

- You should wash your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice (around 20 seconds)

- apply enough soap to cover your hands
- rub your hands together and clean between your fingers, palms, rub your thumb using your other hand, rub the tips of your fingers on the palm of your hand
- rinse your hands with water
- dry your hands completely with a disposeable towel and use the towel to turn off the tap

The Trust’s infection prevention team provide a comprehensive service across Wye Valley NHS Trust acute and community healthcare services. 

Please contact the team on 01432 355444 extension 5133 if you would like more information.



© Wye valley NHS Trust 2024