Hand hygiene is the most effective way of reducing the risk of infection in healthcare and the transmission of viruses and infection in the wider community.

By attempting to set a new record for a hand-sanitising relay, GCU researchers, lecturers, student nurses and operating department practitioner students aim to raise awareness of hand hygiene as a means of preventing infections.

The World Record attempt will be made on November 18, which is European Antibiotic Awareness Day, an annual European public-health initiative to raise awareness about the threat to public health of antibiotic resistance and the importance of prudent antibiotic use. The previous record was set by staff in a Hong Kong hospital.

GCU will undertake the challenge with 650 participants, Professor Fiona McQueen, Scotland’s Chief Nursing Officer, and Glasgow City Council’s Liz Cameron in attendance.

GCU’s safeguarding health through infection prevention researchers have reduced avoidable infections in healthcare in the UK and Europe by stimulating policy debate and investment in new healthcare practice and influencing policy decisions, evidence guidelines, and educational practices. GCU is currently conducting research on antimicrobial stewardship, antimicrobial resistance and evidence for infection prevention and control. A recent study by the research group on hand-hygiene technique provides the first evidence for the WHO six-step hand-hygiene technique being used in this World Record attempt.

Professor of Infection Prevention Jacqui Reilly said: “Hand hygiene is one of the most important measures we can all use to prevent infection. By reducing these infections we can reserve the use of antibiotics to those infections which cannot be prevented and support the control of antimicrobial resistance.”

The record attempt is inspired by an event coordinated by Glasgow City of Science in March 2014, which set a new Guinness World Record for the largest simultaneous hand-hygiene lesson at multiple venues with 3,089 children from 36 Glasgow primary schools participating.


Glasgow Caledonian University

Health Protection Scotland