More than 85% of people think businesses should do more to educate their employees about hand washing and other infection prevention practices, according to a national survey by the Patients Association.
The survey also found that more than half had not been educated by their employer on the importance of hand washing, and more than 70% think local hospitals should do more to educate children about proper hygiene and hand washing.
Katherine Murphy, Director of The Patients Association, said: “It is as important that everyone, especially children, realises the danger to their health if basic techniques such as hand washing are wrong or absent.
“We will never combat infection in clinical settings as long as the general public do not play their part from an early age. Not knowing about basic hand washing technique as a child inevitably leads to problems in the future.
“Infection prevention is one of the most important health and safety issues and really the cornerstone of life. It must be central to the knowledge and daily routine of every child at school and adult in the workplace. There is a lead role for employers to encourage employees to behave safely for themselves and each other.”
She added: “The Swine Flu pandemic is the ideal time to get this right, right now.”