Publicity about health care associated infections can cause a great deal of concern for our patients. Reducing the acquisition of infection is a major priority for this Trust and we are therefore constantly working to make sure that all staff follow good practice in terms of hand washing, environmental cleaning and other infection control measures. This is important both to prevent infections and also other Healthcare Associated Infections that may arise.
The Infection Control Team
The aim of the team is to raise awareness throughout the Trust on all infection prevention and control matters. To this end, the team provides day-to-day advice for all health care staff regarding all matters relating to infection prevention and control. We also facilitate education to all grades of staff on infection control matters. We write policies, guidelines and procedures for the Trust with the aim to prevent cross infection within the hospital.
Infection prevention and control is an important role for all the Trust’s healthcare staff and is embedded in the commitment of the Trust to give our patients optimum healthcare.
What can you do to help when you come into Hospital?
There are many ways that you can help when you come into hospital, including the following:
- Keeping your hands and body clean is important when you are in hospital. This is helped by taking in to hospital personal toiletries. It also helps to have a container of moist wipes to ensure that there are some available when you need to clean your hands. Gentlemen should have their own razors.
- Bring something comfortable to wear when walking around the hospital for instance slippers with some grip on the soles; floors can be slippery at times.
- Discourage family and friends from bringing in flowers (which are not allowed) and numerous gifts which cause clutter and prevent adequate cleaning.
Whilst In Hospital
- Always wash hands or use hand sanitiser on entering and when leaving clinical areas.
- Wash your hands before and after eating and after using the toilet.
- Hand sanitiser is available to use at the bedside. Do not use if your hands are visibly dirty. If a hand sanitiser is not available at your bedside please inform the nursing staff.
- Hospital staff can help protect you by washing their hands or using the hand sanitiser. If a member of staff needs to examine you or perform a procedure, do not be afraid to ask if they have washed their hands or used the hand sanitiser first.
- Please challenge staff if you do not see them washing their hands or using hand sanitiser.
- If you visit the bathroom and toilet and you are concerned that it does not look clean please inform a member of the nursing team.
- After using the commode ask for a bowl of water or use one of your hand wipes to clean your hands. Do not be afraid to ask the nurse if this is not offered.
- Please keep fingernails short. If assistance with nails (fingers or toes) is required please inform a member of the nursing staff.
- Dispose of any used tissues immediately into the waste bag provided.
- Where possible keep your bed space clutter free to enable cleaning of a high standard to be undertaken.
- Your bed area should be cleaned regularly. If you or your visitors see something that has been missed during cleaning, report it to the nurse in charge and request that it is cleaned.
- If you do have a wound please try to refrain from touching this area. Always wash your hands if you have touched this area.
- Please limit the number of visitors that you have as this lessens the chance of infection spreading or being brought into hospital. They should not visit if they are showing signs of infection themselves, i.e. flu, chest infection, diarrhoea and vomiting.
- Please discourage relatives and visitors from sitting on your bed and ask them to use the chairs provided.
- Visitors must wash their hands or user the hand sanitiser on entering the clinical area/room and immediately prior to leaving.
- If you are in an isolation room the nurse in charge should be consulted prior to visitors entering the isolation area.
- Outdoor coats and baggage should be left outside the isolation room.
By following the above guidelines, both patients and visitors, along with the staff at Ashford and St. Peter’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, can work together and ensure good practice in terms of hand hygiene, environmental cleaning and other infection control measures, in the constant challenge of preventing the occurrence and spread of Healthcare Associated Infections.
Thank you for your help and support.
Further information can be obtained from the Infection Control Team on 01932 722128 / 723052 / 722544.