Hand hygiene world record

You’ve got to hand it to Glasgow! GCU student nurses as part of Glasgow City of Science smashes Guinness hand hygiene world record

Glasgow City of Science, with a helping hand from its partners and schoolchildren from across the city, is a world record breaker! The organisation has set a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous hand hygiene lesson at multiple venues and this was celebrated at Glasgow Science Centre on Friday 20th March.

In March last year, Glasgow City of Science coordinated the attempt which saw thousands of primary schoolchildren take part in a simultaneous lesson at Glasgow Science Centre or simultaneously within their schools. Led by 160 student nurses from Glasgow Caledonian University, the 40-minute lesson showed pupils that good hand hygiene is the most effective way to prevent the spread of illnesses. Pupils were introduced to the science of common microbes using versions knitted and donated by members of the public from all around the world and learned how far a sneeze can travel using a ‘snot runway’.

From this event. 3 089 children from 36 Glasgow primary schools were successful in the record attempt, smashing the existing one held by the Health Protection Agency in England of 2,147 children from 21 schools from across the UK.

Legacy packs were left in all schools thanks to funding from the Scottish Government Health Directorate so they can teach every child in their school each year. Thanks to this project, thousands of school children should have a better understanding of good hand hygiene.

Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, Jamie Hepburn joined some record-breaking pupils at a celebration event at Glasgow Science Centre where he collected an official Guinness World Record certificate on behalf of the Scottish Government. He said,

“I am delighted to have been asked to participate in today’s celebratory event  to mark the hand hygiene world record. Tackling and reducing infection in our hospitals and the wider community is a top priority for this Government. “It is vitally important that all children are made aware of the importance and benefits of washing their hands properly and by encouraging them to do so, it will ensure this practice becomes a lifelong habit. We would encourage all children to pass on everything they have learned to their families and friends to spread the word.On behalf of my Ministerial Colleagues and the Scottish Government, I would like to congratulate all the children and organisations who were involved in this project. This world-breaking record has been a fantastic achievement demonstrating again that Scotland leads the way in reducing infections. Today’s award is very well deserved.”

The Glasgow City of Science partnership brings a diverse grouping of over 60 organisations together, from business to government, education and the arts, to work collaboratively on high profile, creative, projects that will raise the profile of Glasgow and the West as a world-class science destination. Several partners including Glasgow Science Centre, Glasgow Caledonian University, NHS Scotland and the Health Protection Scotland worked hand in hand to organise the event.

Professor Jacqui Reilly, Lead consultant, Health Protection Scotland said:

“Hand hygiene is the most important measure we can all take to reduce risk of illness from infections and viruses. Learning when to do hand hygiene, such as before preparing food and after visiting the toilet, together with the correct technique to do it, protects health for a lifetime. HPS is coordinating the implementation of the e bug programme containing the hand hygiene lesson across the whole of Scotland to this end. The programme includes the correct technique for hand hygiene which is based on evidence from research carried out by Glasgow Caledonian University.”
GCU and the Guinness World Record for hand washing presentation at the Science Centre. Image by Guy Hinks.


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