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Infection Prevention and Control

Why is it so important?

Ensuring strict infection prevention and control practice in healthcare facilities is essential in order to stop the development or further spread of infection. Both patients and staff have important roles to play in protecting themselves and others, but thorough hand washing is particularly effective both within the hospital and also at home. 

Hands may look clean, but germs are always present; some harmful, some not. These germs are often passed from person to person either directly by hands or indirectly by equipment or general surroundings.

It is important that patients, visitors and staff regularly wash their hands. Staff also use a hand foam/gel for cleansing their hands and visitors are encouraged to do this when entering and leaving all areas of the hospital.

What can patients do?

Hand washing is especially important before eating (snacks and meals) and after using the toilet, bathroom or commode. Hand wipes are available if you cannot get to a handwash basin. If you have wound dressings, stitches, a catheter or other attachments try not to touch them any more than is necessary and always wash your hands afterwards. Bring only essential items with you so your bed area can be kept clean and tidy.

If you have any concerns about cleanliness, please talk to a senior member of ward staff or Matron.

What can visitors do?

Visitors should not visit if they feel unwell or are suffering from nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, colds, chest infections, flu type symptoms, undiagnosed rashes or infectious skin conditions.

It may not be appropriate to bring young children or babies onto the ward in order to protect them and in some areas to additionally protect patients who may be particularly at risk from infection.

All visitors must wash their hands or cleanse with hand sanitiser before and after their visit.

We ask that visitors do not sit on patients' beds, touch or handle any wounds, dressings, medical equipment or any other attachments to the patients.

What will staff do? 

Staff will wear plastic aprons and gloves when required to protect themselves and their patients. Staff will wash their hands or cleanse with hand sanitiser before and after contact with you or your immediate surroundings. You and your visitors are encouraged to remind staff to cleanse their hands before and after contact with you and there are hand sanitising dispensers within easy access of each bed for this purpose.

If you have an infection (or one is suspected) you may be nursed in a side room or in a bay with other patients with the same infection. Nursing and medical staff will explain everything you need to know. If you (or your relatives) need more information about infection control measures, designated specialists (Infection, Prevention and Control Service) within the hospital can be contacted by ward staff.

The infection prevention and control staff will be more than happy to come and talk to you if you have any concerns relating to your infection.

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