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The Covid-19 crisis means we’re all constantly washing or sanitising our hands in a bid to repel the virus.
But soap and water not only rinses germs away, it also strips the skin of its natural, protective oils and causes it to dry out.
That’s painful for most of us, but even more of a problem for frontline NHS staff working in hospitals and who may have to wash their hands more than a hundred times each day.
Now a team of staff at Hope has banded together to make sure nurses on the Intensive Treatment Unit (ITU) wards at Royal Liverpool and Aintree hospitals get soothing hand cream for free in order to help repair damaged skin.
Fiona Hough, a former ITU and A&E nurse who works in the External Relations department at Hope, explained: “Most of us have seen a change in our skin from the huge increase in hand washing and sanitising, with it going dry and cracking.
“You’ve then got the painful sting when the alcohol-based sanitiser is applied later.
“Imagine using hand-sanitiser 10-15 times an hour, over a 12 hour shift as a nurse.
“A friend of mine, still a staff nurse in ITU, commented how she’s the only one left with hand cream and has been handing out what’s left to her colleagues.
“And the issue here is that there’s either a limited number of hand creams left on shelves, or nurses simply don’t have time to go hunting for it in the shops.
“In-keeping with Hope’s community spirit, we want to make a small difference by getting free hand creams to these selfless, inspirational individuals.”
Anyone interested in helping the project is asked to donate the cost of a hand cream – £4 – via Hope’s online store.
Fiona adds: “We’ve established a supply line through Body Shop at Home, and we’ll have the creams delivered directly to the ITU units.”
There’s another reason nurses need hand cream more than most of us – fissures in the skin are also a means to contract infections.
Lisa Mottram, Data Analyst at Hope and who’s also part of the donation project, adds: “Liverpool Hope University has launched a Covid-19 Volunteer Hub, and this hand cream initiative is part of that commitment. “We want to do something positive, and to do something nice for those crucial frontline workers.
“By having the items delivered directly to the hospitals, it also helps nurses when it comes to social distancing rules, too.”
In order to protect yourself from Coronavirus, The NHS say you should wash your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice – around 20 seconds.
The World Health Organisation adds: “Wash your hands with soap and water, and dry them thoroughly. Or use alcohol-based handrub if you don’t have immediate access to soap and water.”
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