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Welcome to SWASFT

Hand hygiene

The ‘five moments for hand hygiene’ image below defines the key stages for hand decontamination, overcoming confusing language and complex illustrations. ‘5 moments’ aim to offer healthcare workers clear advice on how to integrate hand hygiene into the multifaceted task of care.

 Hand hygiene

In addition to the instances listed in the image we encourage all staff to also decontaminate their hands:

  • Before preparing, eating, drinking or handling food
  • Before and after going to the toilet
  • Before and after smoking
  • Before starting work and after finishing work
  • Before putting on and after the removal of personal protective equipment
  • After handling dirty linen or waste
  • After cleaning equipment or environment
  • After handling contaminated items, including dressings, bedpans, urine drainage bags

The Trust currently has three options for hand decontamination:

  • Hand Washing
  • Alcohol Based Hand Rub

In order to facilitate good hand hygiene practice, the trust adopts the national Bare Below the Elbows policy which states that nothing should be worn below the elbow expect for a plain ring such as a wedding or commitment band. All watches, fitness devices, stoned rings, bracelets, nail varnish and false nails etc. must be removed when in uniform.

Skin Care

Healthy, intact skin provides an effective barrier against infection. It is important to keep the skin in good condition by using the correct hand washing method, drying hands thoroughly and regularly using hand moisturising cream.

Cuts and abrasions must be covered with waterproof dressings whilst on clinical duty. These must be checked regularly and replaced as necessary whilst on duty. Any member of staff with excessive skin lesions should consult with occupational health.

Hands should be moisturised regularly after hand cleaning to reduce the risk of dry skin. Dry skin is more susceptible to cracks and lesions. The Trust supplies pocket sized moisturisers for staff, this can be ordered and kept with the supplies of alcohol gel.

The trust has a formal process for the management of skin irritation and dermatitis.

South Western Ambulance Charity logo

South Western Ambulance Charity

The South Western Ambulance Charity, founded in 1995, uses gifted monies to benefit those in our communities who use our service and to improve the welfare of the staff and volunteers of the South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust. 

Our charitable support covers Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire including Bristol and Swindon.

If you would like to show your appreciation for the care that you or your loved one has received from us in the form of a charitable donation please visit our online giving website: Donate to South Western Ambulance Charity | Give as you Live Donate