Hand Hygiene

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is considered the single most important method of preventing cross infection.

Here at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust we follow the National Patient Safety Agency guidelines – ‘The Five Moments for Hand Hygiene’ which talks about the need to clean hands before and after touching patients and / or their surroundings.

It is important to clean your hands when you enter and leave the ward or clinical area. There are two methods available for cleaning hands in our hospital:

  • Soap and water – this method can be used for cleaning hands at any time
  • Hand Sanitiser – this method can be used on clean hands to decontaminate them after touching someone or something. Please note that hand sanitiser does not work on diarrhoea type illnesses.

What are we doing here at the Trust to ensure good hand hygiene compliance?


  • All new staff receive hand hygiene training on their induction programme.
  • All staff attend annual mandatory update training on infection control, which includes hand hygiene training.
  • The Infection prevention & Control Team carry out ad hoc hand hygiene training on the wards using a light box.


Senior nursing staff carry out monthly hand hygiene audits to ensure that staff are maintaining good practice.

Hand Washing


Bare below the elbow

In line with Department of Health requirements, the Trust follows a ‘bare below the elbow’ policy for staff in clinical areas.

Hand hygiene awareness


  • Over recent months we have increased our signage regarding hand hygiene. This includes life sized posters of senior members of staff bearing messages promoting hand hygiene.
  • We have placed the hand sanitiser at the end of most beds in the Trust. In areas where this is not possible we have supplied the ‘tottle’ (small bottles of hand gel that staff can carry in their pockets)
  • The Trust holds Hand Hygiene Awareness weeks once or twice a year.
  • All Trust computers contain ‘pop up’ infection control messages (including hand hygiene), which appear each time a staff member logs into a computer.


If you have any concerns or queries about hand hygiene please feel free to speak to a member of staff.

Hand Sanitiser

Here at Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust we have a hand cleansing product in use called Foam Hand Sanitiser

It is placed at all entrances into the Trust and in all clinical areas, including at the end of most of our hospital beds

It is advisable to use the hand sanitiser directly before and after visiting your relative or friend

Hand sanitiser works very well against many viruses and bacteria, including Flu and MRSA

However, it doesn’t kill the germs that cause diarrhoea, so please remember to use soap and water to clean your hands when you or your loved ones have diarrhoea

Remember also that it only works on hands that look clean and therefore visible dirt must always be removed by washing with soap and water

It needs to be rubbed over all surfaces of the hands and allowed to dry – if you don’t let it dry, it won’t work!

It isn’t meant to be used after using the toilet or directly before eating – it is much better to use soap and water or detergent wipes for these purposes.

Soap and Water

Soap and water can be used for cleaning your hands at any time during your visit to the Trust. Hand washing sinks for this purpose are available in clinical areas around the Trust.

hand washing 2


It is particularly important to use the soap and water method:

  • When hands are visibly soiled.
  • When caring for, or visiting patients with diarrhoea and vomiting.
  • After using the toilet.
  • When preparing/ serving food and feeding patients.

 When using soap and water you could think about the following:

  • Wet hands with water first
  • Apply soap and rub your hands briskly together
  • Rinse your hands thoroughly
  • Dry your hands well with the paper towels provided.

If you have any concerns / queries around hand hygiene in the Trust please speak to a member of staff.


©2013 Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust | Website and Cookies | Privacy Notice | Accessibility Statement | COVID Notice Living our values everyday