Infections are mainly caused by organisms such as bacteria and viruses. Many of these organisms live in and on your body. Most of them are harmless and some are essential for maintaining good health and wellbeing.
However, if you’re weak or unwell your body can struggle to cope with them and that’s when you can develop an infection.
We do everything we can to prevent people in our care from getting any kind of infection. We make sure all our staff are trained in infection prevention and control.
We also have an infection prevention and control team who help to monitor the cleanliness of our hospitals and advise on isolating patients and other protective measures.
How patients can help
If you’re staying in hospital, there are several ways you can help us to prevent infections:
- Wash your hands each time you use the toilet and before meals.
- Remind staff about hand hygiene if they forget.
- Tell ward staff if you feel unwell or if you experience any diarrhoea or vomiting.
- Keep your room clutter free so we are able to keep it clean.
- Tell ward staff if you see any areas that do not appear to be clean.
- Bring and use your own personal toiletries.
- Do not share personal items or toiletries with other patients.
- Look after your own personal hygiene by washing, showering and wearing clean clothes.
How visitors can help
If you’re visiting someone in hospital you can help us prevent infections in the following ways:
- Do not visit if you feel unwell or have an infection.
- If you’ve had diarrhoea or vomiting, do not visit for 48 hours.
- Use the antibacterial hand rub or wash your hands on entry and exit from a ward.
- Use the public toilets, do not use the toilets on the wards.
- Do not sit or lie on the beds.
- Do not use patient towels or toiletries.
- Do not touch wounds or medical equipment.
- Do not bring food that needs reheating.
- Do not bring flowers.
How to wash your hands
Washing your hands is one of the easiest ways to protect yourself and others from infection.
Watch the video below to see the best handwashing technique.