Save Lives: Clean your Hands!

Did you know that May 5th is the World Health Organisation’s global call to action for workers in healthcare : Save Lives: Clean your hands!? 

So we wanted share with you the very latest practical advice for hand hygiene taken from the British Healthcare Trades Association’s new Get Wise to Hand Hygiene publication, which our MD Jo Bonser has been involved in putting together, as part of a team of infection prevention industry experts. 

You can read the complete Get Wise to Hand Hygiene document by clicking on the link below: 

Jo told us, ‘hand hygiene is widely acknowledged to be the single most important activity that reduces the spread of infection and I am passionate about promoting best practice in this area, including advising on correct techniques and fit for purpose product solutions’ 

There are four key stages to quality hand hygiene: 

Hand cleansing 

Hand sanitising 

Hand drying 

Hand moisturising/rebalancing 

 So we thought we would highlight one of the lesser known interesting and sometimes shocking facts about each stage of hand hygiene for you: 

1.Hand cleansing

If you are still using refillable or bulk fill soap dispensers you could be washing your hands with contaminated soap.  

 These dispensers are a breeding ground for bacteria and are often inadequately cleaned. Once the lid is removed and refilled with soap, airborne germs and bacteria can enter the reservoir and contaminate the soap, leaving your hands with up to 25 TIMES MORE BACTERIA ON after washing.  

 There are typically more bacteria in a bulk filled soap dispenser than in a toilet in the same bathroom, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns do not add soap to a partially empty soap dispenser as this practice can lead to bacterial contamination of the soap. 

The safe alternative to bulk fill dispensers are hygienically sealed cartridge systems which are ultrasonically airtight being free from complete air and gases for maximum hygiene. 

2. Hand sanitising 

Alcohol based sanitisers must contain at least 60% alcohol as the active ingredient to achieve effective disinfection. 

Hand sanitising can be a very good substitute for washing hands, providing hands are visibly clean. It will not remove any dirt, contamination or soiling from the hands, ie faeces or secretions, or during outbreaks of Norovirus or C diff. 

In these instances washing hands with mild soap and water is necessary. 

 3. Hand drying 

‘We often say that hand washing is the key to preventing the spread of illnesses, but wet hands increase the risk of transmitting bacteria, so drying is an equally important step in prevention’ says urgent care specialist Theresa Lash Ritter MD 

Lots of research has focussed on hand drying techniques. In one study, microbiologists compared jet air dryers with warm air dryers and paper towels. What they found was disturbing: 

  • Jet air dryers dispersed 20 times more viruses than warm air dryers and over 190 times more than paper towels. 
  • Drying your hands with absorbent paper towels not only dries them faster but the friction also dislodges bacteria to leave them cleaner. 

4. Hand moisturising/rebalancing. 

Good skin condition is a really important element in ensuring good hand hygiene practice, and moisturising is the most important step in maintaining healthy skin condition by keeping skin soft and supple and avoiding dryness, soreness and cracking, which in turn can harbour potentially harmful bacteria, especially when hands are frequently washed. 

If you would like any additional information on any of these topics, here’s that link again to read the complete Get Wise to Hand Hygiene document: 

If you have any concerns about your existing hand hygiene provision and would like some expert help and advice to help you improve your practices, here are the ways we can help you: 

  • A hand hygiene audit service 
  • A tailored hand hygiene programme for your care home needs 
  • Bespoke dispensers unique to you 
  • World leading skin friendly products 
  • Cost advantage 
  • Free education and training materials to support compliance 
  • Expert knowledge and support 

 Call us TODAY, we’d love to help you ……………… it’s in your hands!  

01773 713713 or email us 



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Customer Testimonials

“We’ve built a strong working relationship with Hcsuk over many years, having used them to source, install and service our medical training equipment. We have always found the team very professional, helpful, and well-organised. We’d like to give a particular shout out to Phil, the technician / engineer who has been the consistent friendly face visiting our business to inspect and test our mobility hoists every 6 months. Thank you for all your support and advice.”

P. B. (Care Manager), Blue Bird Care Ltd

You are part of a great company, if we can help you grow by contracting you out to our sites its good for you, but it’s great for us because your service is fantastic, very efficient, everyone within Hcsuk is super helpful in answering queries and every time we’ve had an issue, Hcsuk has always been there to solve the problem almost immediately, which is fantastic.

Leicestershire County Council

Truly exceptional levels of customer service, the best I have experienced for many years. Very helpful staff made follow up calls to ask how the equipment was performing and supplied extra user instructions to supplement the manufacturers manual. I would not hesitate to order from this company again.

Savills Estate Agents

We would just like to pass on our thanks for all of your help with our orders and would be pleased if you would also pass on our thanks to the manufacturers for being so accommodating in meeting our requirements. We have found everyone very helpful.

Lincs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust

Since I set up the account for Hcsuk over 18 months ago I have found them to be an excellent advocate of our products. They have been willing to learn about the technical and servicing elements to our hoists and the sales staff have really taken on board and proactively promoted our range where possible. I feel that as a company Hcsuk have got the desire and right people in place for growing in this competitive industry. They seem to push themselves to go that little bit further and offer that little bit more to stand out from the rest. May our relationship continue going from strength to strength.

Joerns Healthcare

As a care home manager I have used Hcsuk for my supplies for the last 20 years in two homes. I have always found them to be helpful and reliable. Their products are of the highest standards, they are able to source anything. The delivery service is prompt and regular so I do not have to keep large amounts of stock. They supply extra services such as servicing and repairs which are done efficiently, and training in COSHH. The reps are pleasant and helpful bringing new products to my attention but are never ”pushy”. Aftercare is good, any problems soon sorted. I would recommend them highly and would not think of using anyone else.

Littleover Nursing Home

HPC have supplied Hcsuk (Health Care Services Ltd) for well over a decade now and we would consider them to be a high quality and professional business run in an organised and progressive manor. We do not rank our customers or have a preferred customer status but if we were to introduce such a scheme I can confirm that Hcsuk would easily make such a grade.

HPC Healthline

As a manufacturer we look for key values in a distributor some of these include honesty, reliability, commitment and reputation. Hcsuk carry all of these and many more. With a twenty plus year working relationship we now place Jo and the team at the top of our distributor list. I have no hesitation in recommending Hcsuk to any prospective manufacturer or customer and wish Jo and the team all the best for the future.

Cleenol Group Ltd

It is brilliant that we are able to ring Health Care Services and that you will go the extra mile to get us the stock we need as soon as possible.

Rykneld View Nursing Home

Just to say a huge thankyou to you and your fantastic team, and I mean that from the Heart. I have never before experienced such a person centred company.

Hampton Grange Nursing Home

What I like about working with Health Care Services is the relationship we have built up and the personal service. The homes report that you always deliver on time, the quality is consistently good and the prices competitive. Your team members are always willing to go that extra mile for us and if ever we have an issue there is always someone there to save the day.

Eastgate Care

Thanks to Jo for going over and above to get us our items in time for our special event at Buddleia House – it was very much appreciated. A massive thankyou for your continued assistance as a supplier to ourselves.

Buddleia House

We have always received excellent services from everyone at HCS at our 2 care homes, especially Lee, Jo and Phil. Always professional with a quick response time. Nothing ever seems too much trouble. Recently I had to use them personally for equipment to enable my mothers discharge from hospital. I had a response within the hour for prices and delivery came straight from the manufacturer to speed up delivery. Phil arrived at the same time to put the equipment together for us! I can’t thank them enough for putting our minds at ease and for the continued support from a personal and professional perspective. I’d recommend them to anyone requiring care equipment and its nice to support local businesses. Especially when they do such a good job!!

Orla House

I contacted HCSUK trying to find a hoist that could be operated unaided by the client. I had become very disheartened, no-one was really helpful until I spoke to Donna at HCSUK.

Donna was incredibly understanding, her professionalism raised my spirits again. Everything Donna said she would do she did, including arranging for me to speak to Andrew the salesman who like Donna was incredibly helpful, happy to bring two machines to demonstrate.

I can’t recommend them highly enough. They are good people.

Penelope C

I spoke to Lee Atterbury 2 weeks ago, when I was despairing about the prospect of finding any equipment to help my husband in the bathroom. I had tried all the popular brands, but none were right for his needs.

When I spoke to Lee he understood what I was saying and set about trying to find what we need. He was so patient and understanding and gave me the confidence to explore outside the box.

I spoke to Lee today and was able to tell him that we, hopefully, have found the solution. I am sorry that it was not a product you sell, though you may in the future, but will certainly look first to HCS for other products.

Thank you so much to Lee for first class customer service.

Christine G, Sheffield

VAT Relief Information

Conditions for VAT relief for disabled people

Some of the products which can be purchased from the Hcsuk website are available for an eligible person to purchase without paying VAT on them. HM Revenue and Customs sets out the conditions when equipment for disabled people might be free of VAT and how to claim exemption from paying VAT on these products.

Products a can only be exempt from VAT when all the following conditions are met:

  1. The customer is eligible to purchase supplies at the zero rate
  2. The goods are for the personal or domestic use of the customer
  3. The goods and services are eligible to be supplied at the zero rate

A more detailed explanation of each of these conditions is given below, but you should visit the HM Revenue and Customs Website to fully understand the conditions

The product must be being purchased for someone who is chronically ill or disabled.

A person is ‘chronically sick or disabled’ if he/she is a person:

It does not include a frail elderly person who is otherwise able-bodied or any person who is only temporarily disabled or incapacitated, such as with a broken limb.

‘personal or domestic’ use means that the supply must be made available specifically for the use of an eligible individual.

You don’t have to physically buy the goods in person. If your parent, guardian or wife or husband buys the goods and services for you, then you won’t be charged VAT.

What counts as personal or domestic use?

Personal or domestic use means that the goods or services are supplied for your own private use, rather than for business purposes. Also, the goods or services must be just for your own use – not for use by anyone else, or chronically sick or disabled people in general. However, if you and your partner are both chronically sick or disabled and you buy goods or services for both of you to use, then you won’t have to pay VAT.

Products which are offered for sale on this website which qualify for VAT relief to be claimed for an eligible person.

The products which can be bought without paying VAT are:

Only the products on our site carrying the VAT exemption price (the smaller price marked ex VAT) are eligible to be purchased this way and you must tick the box on the basket page indicating that you wish to claim VAT exemption on the items in your basket that are eligible for VAT relief.

How to claim

On the my basket page of this website a link to the online declaration form is provided if the basket contains a product that qualifies for VAT relief. You must tick the box to state you wish to claim VAT relief on the eligible product and complete in full the reason by which you are ‘chronically sick or disabled’ and name and address of the claimant. If possible the person making the claim should complete this form, but a family member, carer or medical professional may complete the form on the claimants behalf. To submit the claim and receive the VAT relief, click the ‘Submit VAT Relief Claim’ button before proceeding to the checkout.

Please note that all orders submitted with a VAT relief claim form completed are checked before the order is processed.

It is necessary to complete a separate claim form each time a qualifying product is purchased from Hcsuk.


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