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Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Sponge make handwashing game available to all

Plymouth, UKLearning NewsSponge

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and Sponge make interactive handwashing game available to all to help support the prevention of the spread of viruses.

Handwashing Game Video Walk-Through
Playing the Handwashing Game
Playing the Handwashing Game 

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust and custom digital learning provider Sponge make interactive handwashing game available to all for free to help support the prevention of the spread of viruses. NHS guidance states that ‘washing hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from the spread of infection’. The game raises awareness and promotes the use of correct techniques for handwashing. Everyone can play the game online: Handwashing game.

Originally created for Southern Health’s NHS staff based across Hampshire, the animated game was part of the ‘Infection Prevention Module’ of 13 mandatory compliance elearning modules co-developed with Sponge in 2016. Due to its innovative use of gamification design elements this training, covering a broad range of statutory and mandatory compliance subjects, was shortlisted for a Training Journal Award in the category of Best Public Sector Programme in 2016.

Using arrow keys on a desktop keyboard or the touch screen function on mobile devices and tablets, players are required to follow step-by-step instructions for effective handwashing while a timer clock runs down to add urgency and focus for the game player. Official NHS guidance says, ‘you should wash your hands for the amount of time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice (around 20 seconds)’.

Players of the handwashing game begin by clicking on the tap to turn on the water, touching ‘push’ on the dispenser to release the soap and then rubbing hands, beginning with palm to palm, then with fingers interlaced and finally rotational rubbing, as instructed by the onscreen arrows. The aim of the game is to reduce the level of bacteria; a coloured indicator shows bacteria level from high (red) to low (blue) reducing as hands are washed for the required time.

Working with Southern Health, game elements were identified as being valuable for scenarios involving real risks and consequences. There is also evidence to suggest that game play promotes long term memory retention of key learning outcomes.

Bobby Moth, Associate Director of Education, LEaD, Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, said, “With cases of COVID-19 on the increase, we’re happy to make our hand hygiene training game widely accessible to support wider NHS efforts to curb the spread of the virus – regular and thorough handwashing is a key part of that. The game was co-developed with Sponge as part of our Infection Prevention Module of compliance elearning modules back in 2016 and remains in use today - we’re hopeful it will prove useful and instructive to a wider audience at this time.”

Sponge’s Managing Director, Louise Pasterfield, said, “In collaboration with Southern Health, we’re pleased to be able to make the hand hygiene game available to all for free.

Coronavirus is a serious public health issue, we’re hopeful that opening up the game to the general public will prove useful in supporting the timely adoption and better understanding of NHS’ official guidelines on handwashing.”

See the official NHS Coronavirus (COVID-19) for guidance on risks, symptoms and how to avoid catching or spreading the virus.


About Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust

We provide community health, specialist mental health and learning disability services for people across the south of England. Covering Hampshire, we are one of the largest providers of these types of service in the UK. We employ around 6,000 staff who work from over 200 sites serving a population of around 1.3 million people. These sites include community hospitals, health centres, and inpatient units. Our vision is to provide world-class treatment and care that improves people’s lives.

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About Sponge

Sponge is a world leading custom digital learning provider. The company delivers seriously creative workplace training for global brands across multiple sectors and industries including pharmaceutical, retail, manufacturing, finance, professional services and FMCG. Clients include AstraZeneca, AXA, Coca-Cola, Tetra Pak, Tesco and Royal Mail.

Sponge was founded by entrepreneur, Louise Pasterfield, in 2004. Following the company’s acquisition by private equity firm, Aliter Capital, in November 2019, Sponge is now a strategic part of a major new force in digital learning along with leading LMS provider, Bolt Learning.

Sponge’s bespoke learning solutions solve multiple business challenges, from risk and compliance to business transformation, people development and skills enhancement. Harnessing the very latest in cutting-edge technology, Sponge’s solutions include elearning, learning games and gamification, animation and motion graphics, interactive video and immersive technologies (e.g. VR and AR). The company’s digital learning is used in more than 124 countries worldwide.

An industry trail blazer, Sponge has won multiple awards over the past 16 years, including Learning Provider of the Year at the 2019 LPI Learning Awards and Company of the Year (silver winner) at the 2018 Learning Technologies Awards.

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