The socio-economic costs of healthcare associated infections (HCAIs) are continually rising. The focus for reducing the incidence of HCAIs should be on maintaining a microbiologically safe environment. Hand hygiene is of paramount importance in preventing the transmission of infection, as it is a low-tech, low-cost, effective intervention. Hand hygiene is as important in the non-acute care setting as in the acute setting, as community or non-acute patients are often admitted to acute facilities. Conclusion This audit, conducted in 2000-2001, examined hand hygiene facilities at one non-acute trust. The results confirmed that although handwashing is considered the most important factor in preventing the spread of infection, it cannot always be carried out successfully if facilities are inadequate. Recommendations were made that will encourage safe practice, improve service delivery and raise clinical standards.