World Hand Hygiene Day is on Wednesday 5 May

Published on: 4th May 2021

Seconds save lives – clean your hands!

We’ve heard a lot about washing our hands recently, and it’s a vital that we do it in the right way to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and keep us all well. You should wash your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice (around 20 seconds), rubbing your hands together and clean in between your fingers. This video from the NHS is a handy step-by-step guide.

In North West London, the NHS is working hard to put effective hand hygiene action at the point of care, so that our patients and health care workers can be reassured that the services we provide are safe. We’re promoting safe glove usage and encouraging staff to risk assess and to use gloves appropriately and discard at the point of care.

Healthcare workers are advised to decontaminate their hands at five different times when treating a patient. They should do this to protect the patient against potentially harmful germs on the hands, as well as protecting themselves and the healthcare environment. The five steps are below:


It’s important that everyone follows effective hand hygiene. Follow the hashtag #HandHygieneDay to find out more about the campaign.