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What you can do to reduce the risk of infection

Hand hygiene

The most important way infection can be prevented is through effective handwashing.

Remember to wash your hands before and after meals and after using the toilet. If you can’t wash your hands, please use the hand wipes which should be available on the ward, ask for more if required. You can also use the hand sanitiser if you wish.

All staff should be practising good hand hygiene when caring for you, you are welcome to ask staff if they have done this.

Please also remind your visitors to use hand sanitiser or wash their hands when entering and leaving the ward.


What happens if I get an infection?

If your infection requires it, you may be moved to a single room, but do not worry. This is a way of treating you more effectively and protecting other patients. Your nurse will explain to you and leaflets are available giving advice about specific infections.

Your Doctor will be informed and will treat your infection appropriately.

Staff will sometimes wear protective clothing when caring for you, whether you have an infection or not. This may include gloves and aprons. Occasionally it may also include masks. This depends on the type of infection you have and how it is spread.

In most instances, your visitors should only be asked to wear gloves and aprons if providing hands on care.

Food brought in by relatives / visitors

You are welcome to bring in food from home. Non-perishables such as cakes and biscuits are safe to keep on bedside tables as long as they are kept covered. Fruit is also allowed as long as it has been washed and is eaten in a timely manner.

Ward staff will place food in the kitchen fridge if it is in a named and dated sealed container.

The kitchen is accessible to staff only. Patients own food cannot be warmed up in the microwave as there are Health and Safety regulations in place to protect patients.

Toiletries / nightwear

It is advisable that you bring your own toiletries (e.g. soap, towel, toothpaste, wipes) and nightwear. Every effort should be made to send worn nightwear home daily for laundering.

Lockers / bed tables

Please try to keep the top of your locker and bed table free from clutter.

Too many items left on top will make it more difficult to clean your locker and bed table properly.

If you have any concerns about the cleanliness of the environment, please speak to the nurse in charge.

10 top tips for patients

  1. Always wash your hands after using the toilet and before you eat. Ask for hand wipes if required
  2. Do not lift any wound dressings to look at your wound
  3. Keep your bedspace tidy and clutter free so that domestic staff can access all areas to clean. Ask your visitors to help with this and ask them to take unwanted items home
  4. Inform the nurse in charge if you have any concerns about the cleanliness on the ward
  5. It’s ok to ask the staff if they have carried out hand hygiene prior to making contact with you or your wounds / devices
  6. Shower daily if possible, changing your nightwear / clothes as frequently as possible. The nursing staff will be happy to assist you if required
  7. Do not walk around the ward in bare feet, always wear shoes or slippers. If you don’t have any ask the ward staff who can provide non-slip slipper socks
  8. Do not share personal items such as toiletries etc with other patients
  9. Ask your relatives not to visit the ward if they are unwell i.e. have a cold or have had diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the last 48 hours. Only 2 visitors are allowed per patient and visitors must not sit on your bed
  10. Flowers are not permitted.


You can get further advice and information by:

  • Asking the nursing staff
  • Asking to speak to a member of the Infection Prevention team
  • Patient Advice and Liaison (PALS) can also be contacted to act on your behalf when handling patient and family concerns.  PALS is a confidential service. PALS: 01604 545784
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