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Infection Prevention & Control

Hospital hygiene

Ensuring that our wards and all parts of the hospital are kept clean is vital to preventing the spread of infections and is something we take very seriously.

  • Our household staff ensure standards of cleanliness are maintained and monitored across all areas of the hospital. 
  • There are cleaning schedules and checklists in all rooms, wards, bathrooms and toilets, which include the contact details of who should be contacted if more cleaning is needed. 
  • Supervisors inspect all clinical areas on a daily basis and undertake regular audits to ensure that cleanliness is maintained at a very high standard.
  • Members of the senior management team also undertake regular walkabouts to assess the cleanliness of the environment and patient equipment and upkeep of the facilities. 
  • Any areas for action identified are immediately acted upon.

Hand hygiene

Hand Hygiene is very important in the prevention of infection as clean hands reduce the risk of spreading germs and infections. 

  • Germs that naturally live on a person’s skin and normally cause few problems may be more serious when brought into hospital. 
  • These germs are often passed from one person to another by physical contact, so it is important that patients, visitors and healthcare workers reduce the risk of spreading infection by regularly cleaning their hands. 
  • Please never feel uncomfortable about asking anyone – hospital staff, visitors, family or friends to wash their hands or to use a hand gel before coming in contact with you or your surroundings. 
  • There are disinfecting hand gels throughout the hospital and at each bedside.

Hands being washed

How to use the hand gel

If your hands are visibly dirty, you should wash and dry them before applying the gel.

  • Place a small amount of the gel in the centre of your hands
  • Rub around all surfaces, paying particular attention to the finger tips
  • Once the gel is dry, your hands are clean and disinfected

How patients and visitors can help prevent the spread of infection

There are certain things which you as a patient can do to minimise the risk of spreading infection. These include:

  • Clean your hands before eating and before leaving your room/bed area
  • Wash hands after using the toilet and before touching any wound
  • Clean your hands before and after touching any blood
  • Ask friends and family who have colds, stomach bugs or other infections not to visit
  • Encourage your visitors to clean their hands immediately before and after they enter and leave your bedside
  • Avoid sitting on another patient’s bed
  • Ask your visitors not to sit on your bed

How hospital staff can help prevent the spread of infection

All hospital staff must clean their hands according to the World Health Organisation’s '5 Moments for Hand Hygiene':

  • before touching a patient;
  • before clean/aseptic procedure; 
  • after body fluid exposure risk;
  • after touching a patient; and
  • after touching patient surroundings.

Audit and surveillance

The infection prevention and control midwives carry out audits throughout the hospital. These include:

  • Staff compliance with the '5 Moments for Hand Hygiene' and correct hand washing technique
  • Targeted audit of practice in relation to isolation precautions and care of IV sites
  • Targeted environmental audit and swabbing during the investigation into an increase in infection rates and during outbreaks
  • Infection control practices and facilities in all ward areas such as overall layout, cleaning regimes, equipment and hand washing facilities
Surveillance of hospital acquired infections is carried out on a hospital wide basis including the following:

  • Surgical site (wound) infections
  • Positive blood cultures to identify if the infection is related to their stay in hospital
  • Multi-resistant organisms such as MRSA 
  • Antimicrobial stewardship to ensure appropriate use of antibiotics

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