IT’S enough to make you think twice about who you shake hands with.
Studies have found that, incredibly, only five per cent of people wash their hands properly after going to the toilet. Also, rather disgustingly, one in 10 don’t wash their hands at all after using the toilet.
This is a big reason why there are more than 300,000 healthcare-associated infections in England alone every year. And yet, a large number of these could be dealt with through the simple expedient of washing our hands properly.
This is why The News wholeheartedly backs Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust’s new hand hygiene campaign.
If we are honest – as these studies demonstrate – not many of us wash our hands properly at all. Perhaps a cursory splash under the taps on our way out the door as we rush back to our work desks, or we convince ourselves that we don’t need to spend much time washing and scrubbing as we’re not dirty people. But for the sake of a few seconds we can help stamp out a lot of these infections.
In a hospital it becomes paramount that people wash their hands properly. Patients are often already vulnerable to infection, and if something so simple can help, then it’s stupid not to do it.
If you are unfortunate to spend time in Queen Alexandra Hospital or any health facility you will see signs giving guidance on how to do it effectively.
But you don’t need special training – that’s no excuse.
Debbie Keyte, lead nurse for Infection Prevention at QA Hospital talks of empowering people to challenge others they see failing to wash their hands.
This will take a shift in people’s attitudes, and while it may seem a radical comparison, it was once a similar situation with seatbelts – but who would think of driving now without belting up first?