Whenever there are large numbers of people using shared facilities, there is a chance that infections can spread. Many of the people we have staying in the hospital or visiting for appointments are ill, making it easier for them to catch infections. It is important that we ensure that every possible step is taken to reduce the chance of infections occurring, and also to prevent infections spreading.
Good hand hygiene is one of the most simple and effective things we can do to prevent the spread of infection. This is particularly important in hospitals.
Liquid soap and paper towels are provided for use at the sinks. Regular washing of your hands helps reduce the build up of germs on your hands, which occur naturally.
Alcohol gel is also available as an alternative to soap and water, if your hands are visibly clean, although it should not be used for Clostridium difficile
Staff are happy to be challenged about their hand hygiene. You may wish to use the following phrase
“Can I just ask, have you washed your hands"
Good general hygiene is also very important.
The nursing staff will help you have a wash, bath or shower if you need help. Please ask for assistance.
If you are using your own toiletries, please ensure your keep them with you and do not leave them on the sink.
Dispose of razor blades safely and ensure flannels/sponges/towels are “wrung” out or allowed to dry after use, not simply tucked away in the wash bag where germs may multiply.
Some wards may ask you to use disposable flannels and hospital towels.
Try and change your clothing regularly whist in hospital. This will also make you feel fresh and clean. If your clothes are stained, ask the staff for a patient linen bag so that your relatives can take them home to be washed (instructions for use are included).
Please do not sit on other patients beds and always wash your hands if you help another patient.
We do not encourage you to bring food into the hospital from home, as there is a risk from food poisoning if it is not stored correctly during transportation.
If food has to be brought into the hospital for you it should be stored correctly and you should ask staff to advise you on the best way to do this.
There are rules on how long we can store food and items should be labeled by staff and will be thrown away after 24 hours. This is to prevent food going bad.
Avoid storing food in your locker. The warm environment on the ward can mean food deteriorates more quickly than it would do at home and this could cause food poisoning.
Snacks can be arranged for you outside mealtimes. The catering department supplies these and ward staff can arrange this service for you.
A trolley is brought to the ward on a regular basis for you to be able to purchase snacks, drinks, papers, and magazines.
For further information, see Infection Control