Hand Hygiene

Washing handsHands are the most common way by which microorganisms are spread, therefore good hand hygiene is crucial in preventing the spread of infection.

Hand hygiene covers hand washing and hand rub. Hand hygiene products (wash or rub) should meet the obligatory and additional BS EN standards [1].

Although gloves are worn for all clinical and decontamination processes, they are not a substitute for hand hygiene because microorganisms can flourish under gloves. Hand hygiene must be carried out before putting on gloves.

Ensure staff are aware of the importance of hand hygiene and are trained in its use.

Encourage staff to work through Scottish Infection Prevention and Control Education Pathway (SIPCEP) Hand Hygiene Module.

Ensure staff are familiar with the practice’s policy on hand hygiene and follow the related hand hygiene procedures (see Hand Hygiene Policy template).

Hand Hygiene is one of the Standard Infection Control Precautions (SICPs) described in Health Protection Scotland’s National Infection Prevention and Control Manual.The manual provides guidance on when and how to perform safe and effective hand hygiene.

Sources of Information

  1. Literature Review: Hand Hygiene Products (Version 5.0) (2024) NHS National Services Scotland [PDF]