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19 Mar 2014 Hand Hygiene World Record Attempt

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) is supporting today’s attempt to set a new record for the biggest hand hygiene lesson ever held.

Professor Jacqui Reilly, Lead Consultant at HPS said, “Hand hygiene is the best way to avoid colds, flu and other viruses and is the first line of defence against the spread of many infections.

“This lesson is a fun and memorable way to teach children about the importance of washing their hands. Scientific evidence shows that implementing hand hygiene measures reduces the risk of illness and can protect health for life.”

The event’s organisers – a partnership including HPS, science awareness campaign Glasgow City of Science, Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) and Glasgow Science Centre – hope that as many as 11,000 pupils from nearly 80 schools across Glasgow will take part in the world record attempt.

Student nurses from GCU will deliver the simultaneous sessions at 1.30pm today, in an attempt to smash the existing world record set in 2012 by the then Health Protection Agency (England) when 2147 pupils from 21 schools took part in a hand hygiene class.

Using kits including larger-than-life bugs which have been knitted in wool by volunteers from across the world, the 40-minute session will also explore how bugs and germs spread illness among groups of people. The lesson will explain how simple steps, such as hand washing or covering one’s nose during a sneeze, can make the spread of infection much less likely. 
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, Alex Neil, MSP, will visit the Glasgow Science Centre ahead of the world record attempt.


Leigh Taylor
Health Protection Scotland - Communications Team
Meridian Court
5 Cadogan Street
G2 6QE

Tel: 0141 300 1117

Notes to the Editor

Health Protection Scotland (HPS) is part of NHS National Services Scotland (NSS), a special health board providing services critical to frontline patient care and supportive of the efficient and effective operation of NHS Scotland.

Professor Jacqui Reilly, Lead Consultant - Healthcare Associated Infection, Antimicrobial Resistance, Decontamination and Infection Control Group - at HPS also leads a team of researchers in Glasgow Caledonian University working on healthcare associated infections (HAI).

Glasgow City of Science is a joint campaign with over 50 partners including universities, public sector bodies, the Science Centre and industry, to raise the profile of Glasgow and the West of Scotland as a world-class science destination and make best use of this expertise and heritage to boost sustainable economic development and quality of life.

The Health Protection Agency is now part of Public Health England, an executive agency of the Department of Health.

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