Infection prevention and control (IPC) is everyone’s responsibility. Our Trust works hard to protect staff, patients, and visitors from the risk of acquiring an infection while within a healthcare setting.
How we are protecting you from infection
We have Trust-wide policies in place and a dedicated infection prevention and control team to keep you and our staff safe.
We have a bare below the elbows policy in our clinical areas which means that our staff work with short or rolled up sleeves, no nail polish and no watched or jewellery except for a plain wedding band.
Our infection prevention and control team provide:
- Advice and training to all staff about preventing and managing infection, including diarrhoea and vomiting
- Advice and information to patients and carers
- Policies, guidelines and protocols to ensure your care is high quality and evidence-based
- Advice about building and refurbishment projects within the Trust
- Advice about environmental cleanliness, working closely with clinical staff and patient representatives
Help us to fight infection
Hand hygiene is the single most important way of prevention the spread of infection.
If all of us work together, we can continue to keep our patients, visitors and staff safe.
You can help us by:
- Cleaning your hands – wash your hands or use alcohol rub when entering or leaving a ward and before and after contact with a patient
- Limiting the number of items you bring into hospital – clutter makes it more difficult to clean and therefore prevent infection
- Telling us if areas do not look clean
- Not visiting friends or loved ones if you feel unwell and have illnesses such as colds
- Not sitting on patients’ beds – please use the chairs available
Frequently asked questions
If you cannot find the answer to your question, please contact our infection prevention and control team through the contact details below.
What is the hospital doing to improve cleanliness?
Our domestic staff (cleaners) are employed by the Trust, not contracted in. This means they can undertake regular training to keep up with the latest infection control updates.
All ward areas are inspected regularly and are reviewed by cleanliness groups which include patients.
All of our toilets are inspected on a regular basis. We ask visitors not to use ward toilets.
If you come across any cleanliness issues as a patient or visitor in our Trust, please let a member of staff know.
I have an infection. Is it safe to visit a patient?
If you are unwell, please do not visit unless absolutely necessary. If your visit is essential, please ring the ward to discuss this.
Please click here to see the contact details for all our wards.
Is it safe for me to visit a patient who has an infection?
The staff on the ward will be able to advise you.
If it is safe, we will ask you to wash your hands thoroughly before and after visiting. You may also be asked to wear gloves and an apron.
What do I do if a doctor or nurse does not wash their hands before examining me?
You should ask them if they have cleaned their hands as they may have done it before entering the room. It is your right to insist that they wash their hands and we encourage you to bring this to their attention.
In most cases, using alcohol hand rub is acceptable so do not be alarmed if you do not see staff washing with soap and water.
I am pregnant; can I visit a patient who has MRSA?
Yes it is safe to visit. Please wash your hands and rub your hands with alcohol gel from dispensers at the ward entrance and elsewhere on the ward before and after visiting a patient.
Should hospital staff wear uniforms outside the hospital?
The main way germs are transferred to patients is on hands, but uniforms can become contaminated during the course of a day at work. The trust’s policy states that staff who work in the hospitals should not wear uniforms outside of work. However, many of our staff work outside the hospital in GP surgeries and patients’ homes. They do need to wear uniforms outside of the hospital environment but follow strict laundering instructions for their uniforms.
What is MRSA?
MRSA is short for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. It is a strain of germ called Staphylococcus aureus that is resistant to an antibiotic called Methicillin. Many people have this germ living on them (commonly in the nose) without it causing any harm. When it does cause an infection it can be treated with a limited number of other antibiotics. A small minority of MRSA infections are in the blood stream, these are the most serious. A patient leaflet is available.
What is Clostridium difficile?
Clostridium difficile is a germ that can cause diarrhoea in some patients. It is present in the gut of many patients without causing illness but if a person receives treatment with certain types of antibiotics the germs can multiply and cause infection. A patient leaflet is available.
Get in touch
If you have any questions or concerns, please contract our infection prevention and control team.
Monday to Friday –
Phone: 01642 383280
Email: [email protected]
Annual DIPC reports
Our latest annual report can be found below:
Past reports can be found within the report section of our resources centre.