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Independents' Day

NICE tells GPs how to wash their hands

The Government's latest guidance to GPs sets out step-by-step instructions on how to wash their hands.

New advice from the

National Institute for Clinical Excellence says GPs need to reserve enough time at the end of every seven-minute consultation to: remove all jewellery from their wrists and hands; wet them with tepid running water; apply liquid soap; rub vigorously for 10-15 seconds, paying particular attention to fingertips, thumbs and the areas between fingers; rinse them and dry them thoroughly with paper towels. Nail varnish should never be worn, adds the advice on infection control in primary care.

The guidelines instruct GPs to wash their hands in this way after every patient as well as after any potentially contaminating activity, such as sneezing.

Prevention of infection during catheterisation and safe use of sharps are also covered.

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