Hand Hygiene Rule Number 1 – Wash Your Hands

Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene is the central pillar in infection control practice as it provides protection against the transmission of pathogens and protects the welfare of our staff and patients. Good hand cleanliness practices are critical to breaking the chain of transmission and hi-jacking the “vehicle” the pathogen was planning on using to get to a new host.

Remember – Pathogens leave the source and utilise some means of transmission or “vehicle” as a method of attaching to a new host.

HTM01-05 Section 6 makes clear the importance of hand hygiene and places a requirement upon practices to have in place an effective policy, along with annual training. These requirements are essential quality requirements…..but are still missing in some practices. I wanted to break down what the HTM is asking of our dental practices and give some ideas about how practices can ensure they keep there noses ( or rather hands) clean with the CQC.

Hand Hygiene – What do the CQC want to see?

  • Separate sinks for hand washing
  • Clear signage over hand washing sinks showing method as described by NPSA (In HTM01-05 appendix)
  • Use of gloves
  • Hand washing taking place at key stages of treatment and practice
  • Disposable liquid soap in touch free dispensers
  • Access to disposable paper towels for hand drying
  • Disposable hand cream dispensers with fit for purpose water based hand cream
  • Evidence of Hand Hygiene training taking place

Hand Hygiene – What do I have to do?

  1. WASH YOUR HANDS – Following the correct guidelines and method
  2. Follow the hand hygiene policy that should form part of your infection control policy for the practice.
  3. Keep your nails short and clean
  4. Bare below the elbow
  5. Annual training / refresher on hand hygiene

Hand Hygiene – What paperwork should I have in place?

  1. Hand Washing Policy (this should sit within your infection control policy) detailing the practice protocols.
  2. Evidence of a Hand Hygiene Audit with results, remedial actions or changes if necessary.
  3. Evidence of training having taken place in the practice with all staff members covered.

The HTM 01-05 Appendix 1 provides a good Hand Hygiene Policy draft that can be used as guidance for your own practice version and there are many companies who can provide Hand Hygiene Products and guidance to help you.

HTM01-05 Hand Hygiene Policy Example

Complete HTM01-05 Document

Review your policy today, check your sinks for laminates and remember РWASH YOUR HANDS!

Originally posted 2016-02-01 09:00:05. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Laura Edgar

About Laura Edgar

Managing Director of Aura Infection Control Ltd, qualified in Dental Decontamination and passionate about sharing knowledge and education. Qualified Adult training tutor and experienced in Business Management and Strategy development.