DOCTOR CALLING: By Dr Kevin Shields
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.
South Lincolnshire CCG is encouraging everyone to ensure they keep their hands clean ahead of the World Health Organisation’s annual campaign ‘Save Lives: clean your hands’. This year’s campaign day is Tuesday, May 5.
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.
In addition those who 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.
Dr Kevin Hill, Chair of NHS South Lincolnshire CCG said:“By preventing germs from circulating we can all play our part in helping to reduce the spread of flu, stomach bugs and other illnesses as well as healthcare associated infections such as MRSA and Clostridium difficile.
“By washing your hands with soap and water and making sure they’re dried properly you can significantly reduce the number of germs circulating and reduce your chances of getting ill.”
The NHS has produced a simple video showing how to wash your hands in the way that professionals are taught. See www.wash-hands.com