Reducing the Risk of Infection

Important information on helping to reduce the risk of infections.

Recent publicity about hospital-acquired infection has caused a great deal of concern across the country. In response to questions from the public, the following advice is provided for both inpatients and visitors.

For Everyone

  • Ensure you always wash your hands after using the toilet.

Help the cleaners

  • Please help us keep the hospital clean.
  • Try to keep the top of lockers & bed-tables reasonably free from clutter. It is difficult for staff to clean these areas properly if too many things are left on top.
  • If you can, clear your locker tops, table and window sills ready for cleaning.
  • If you think a bathroom or toilet does not look clean, please report this immediately to the nurse in charge of the ward. Ask for it to be cleaned before you use it. Use an alternative (if available).
  • Bed areas should be cleaned regularly. If you or your visitors see something that has been missed during cleaning, report it to the nurse in charge.

For Inpatients

  • Keeping your hands and body clean are important when you are in hospital.
  • Bring personal toiletries with you for washing, including soap and a clean flannel or cloth. Disposable cloths are better, as wet flannels will grow many germs and can become contaminated.
  • Please bring a container of moist hand-wipes, so you will always have some available when you need to clean your hands. Some wipes will be provided for you by the hospital if you cannot bring your own.
  • Always wash your hands or clean them with a hand-wipe immediately before you eat a meal.
  • If you use a commode, ask for a bowl of water to wash your hands, or use a moist hand-wipe afterwards. Do not be afraid to ask the nurse if this is not offered automatically.
  • If you have a wound or invasive device such as a catheter or drip, do not touch them if possible. If you do need to, first make sure your hands are clean.
  • Always wear something on your feet when walking around in hospital. A comfortable pair of slippers is fine. Make sure that whatever you wear has some grip on the bottom, as hospital floors can be a little slippery sometimes.
  • Hospital staff can help protect you by washing their hands, or by cleaning them with special alcohol rubs or gels. Do not be afraid to ask if this has been done. This is very important if the member of staff is going to examine you or perform a procedure.

For Visitors

  • Are you well enough to visit? Some patients may be at risk of developing infections. This may be the person you wish to visit or others on the ward.
  • You are asked not visit if you have a cough, cold or sore throat as you may pass this on.
  • You are particularly asked not to visit if you have or have had any diarrheoa and / or vomiting in the last two to three days.
  • Please contact the ward before visiting if you have recently been in contact with anyone having an infectious disease. Of particular concern are diseases such as mumps, chicken pox, or illnesses causing diarrheoa and vomiting.

Clean your hands:

  • As a precaution against infection, please clean your hands when you come onto the ward. Pump dispensers with a special alcohol handrub are outside every ward, at every bay and by the bedside.