COVID 19: Using Ultraviolet Light Technology to Keep Hands Clean

At Hamberley Care Homes we are taking extra measures to protect the safety and wellbeing of our residents at this current time.

Health authorities have made clear that good hand hygiene is THE most important weapon in our fight against the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

To that end, we have installed ultraviolet (UV) lightboxes in reception areas and at nurse stations to ensure that staff hand hygiene is at the very highest level. The UV lightboxes are used for training and for periodic checks.

Please be reassured that there has been no COVID-19 case linked to Hamberley Care Homes, however, we feel some additional layers of precautionary measures are necessary.

Why Use Ultraviolet Lightboxes?

One of the biggest misconceptions when washing our hands is that we always get the soap, or detergent, on all areas of our fingers, thumbs, nails, palms, back of hands and wrists.

Even when we do ‘sing Happy Birthday twice’ and give our hands a good scrub we can still miss sections as we often use the same sequence of movements to wash our hands.

This is where ultraviolet light technology can come in useful – it can show us which areas of our hands we have missed so we can wash again and reduce the likelihood of passing on germs.

Here's the latest information from the NHS on the correct handwashing technique. 

How To Use The Ultraviolet Lightbox

These pictures are taken from Caddington Grove, our Hamberley Care Home in Dunstable, but the UV lightboxes are available across all our homes.

Step 1

Firstly, our staff ensure they have thoroughly washed their hands before placing their hands under the ultraviolet light. 

Step 2

Next, they apply the special ultraviolet light-responsive liquid that is located next to the UV machines to their hands, making sure they are FULLY covered. This will allow the UV light to show any remaining sources of dirt.

UV hand cream

Step 3

Once the UV-responsive liquid has been applied, they place their hands under the UV light in the UV lightbox. They don't feel anything – it’s just light.

Hands in UV box

Step 4

Next, they take a closer look at their hands and see if there are any bright purple spots of UV light, these are areas of dirt. Here you can see the handwashing was good – but not quite good enough.

Dirty UV hands

See the areas of bright purple light – these are areas of dirt and potential sources of infection.

Step 5

They wash their hands again – even more thoroughly this time, focusing on the areas that showed up under the UV light.

Step 6

They reapply the UV-responsive liquid to their hands and place them back in the lightbox under the UV light like this.

Clean UV hands

Now the hands are fully clean and the chances of them being contaminated is much reduced. 

Handwashing is SO important in the fight to slow the spread of COVID-19 and at Hamberley Care Homes are doing everything possible to minimise the risk of infection.

Older people and those with underlying health conditions are more susceptible to this illness so it’s vital we do everything we can to keep our hands clean.

This is just one of the additional infection control measures we are currently implementing.

It is prudent for older people and their families to know what they should do to limit their exposure to the illness.

How You Can Help Reduce The Spread of COVID-19 (source: Public Health England)

1. If you have been in contact with someone with coronavirus or have returned from an affected area identified by the Chief Medical Officer as high risk and you are feeling unwell with a cough, difficulty breathing or fever, stay at home and use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service or call NHS 111.

2. Wash your hands more often than usual, for 20 seconds using soap and hot water, particularly after coughing, sneezing and blowing your nose, or after being in public areas where other people are doing so. Use hand sanitiser if that’s all you have access to.

3. To reduce the spread of germs when you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue, or your sleeve (not your hands) if you don’t have a tissue, and throw the tissue away immediately. Then wash your hands or use a hand sanitising gel.

4. Clean and disinfect regularly touched objects and surfaces using your regular cleaning products to reduce the risk of passing the infection on to other people.

For the latest information on COVID-19 and how to minimise your risk of infection please go to the following websites:

If you have any other questions regarding Hamberley Care Homes’ preparedness for COVID-19 please contact your local care home. All contact details can be found here.