The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust


Hand hygiene


We use our hands for all sorts of activities and will come into contact with a huge number of objects and surfaces over a given day. That’s why it’s so easy to spread germs and pick up viruses just by touching.

While our brilliant cleaners do their best to keep our hospitals clean, the number of people coming into our hospitals means the risk of transmitting germs through touch is always high.

It is vital you practice good hand hygiene and remember to wash your hands at regular intervals during your time in hospital. If a sink isn’t available then please use the hand gel provided in wall dispensers across our hospitals.

To main good hand hygiene you should:

  • Wash your hands at regular intervals
  • Avoid touching surfaces or objects where possible
  • Avoid touching your face or face mask

When to clean your hands

You should clean your hands at regular intervals whilst you are in our hospitals but especially:

  • Arriving at a clinical area, such as a ward or outpatient clinic
  • Leaving a clinical area
  • When asked to do so by a member of staff, or when prompted by a sign

Some areas will have hand sanitiser or a sink by the entrance to the department – other places will have a toilet facility where you can wash your hands.

How to wash your hands effectively

We all think we know how to wash our hands, but places are easily missed and germs can hide in these areas. The below techniques will ensure you have cleaned everywhere leaving no place for germs to hide.

You should always use warm soapy water, or alcohol gel where this is not available. Going through the below techniques twice should take around 20 seconds.

2020.05.19 Handwashing A4 Landscape