Main telephone number:
020 8401 3000

Infection Control

Staff in both the community and the hospital work very hard to make sure that your care is as safe as it possibly can be.

Key Achievements:

  • 80% reduction in hospital and community MRSA blood stream infections over the past 5 years.
  • 85% reduction in hospital acquired Clostridium difficile infections in the past 4 years.
Please note our annual figures for MRSA and C.difficile>>           

How have we achieved this success?

  • Teamworking and involvement at every level of the organisation.
  • Close working with the community services.
  • Active Infection Control Team
  • Staff infection control training updates yearly
  • Infection Control audits - many and various, including hand hygiene audits, monthly audits of care of intravenous lines and commode cleaning
  • MRSA screening (swabbing) of patients on or before admission to hospital. This allows us to detect the MRSA on the skin and treat.
  • High standards of hospital cleanliness and use of high technology methods for deep cleaning specific areas.
  • Participation in the National Clean your Hands Campaign
  • Antibiotic management
  • Isolation of infected patients in side rooms
  • Root cause analysis of infection incidents to ensure we learn any lessons.
  • Ongoing surveillance of infections in patients and rapid intervention if there are any signs for concern.

Many procedures in hospital, such as operating theatre routines, wound dressing techniques, sterilisation of instruments, use of sterile, single use needles, syringes and suture materials are good examples of successful methods of infection control.

Hand Hygiene

Hand hygiene is one of the best ways of preventing the spread of many infections. Staff can use soap and water or handrub to clean their hands in front of you before they touch you or any of your drips and tubes. Handrub should be in the bedspace of every adult patient.

How you can help

  • Clean your hands with soap and water or a hand wipe before meals and after going to the toilet.
  • Avoid touching your wounds, drips, urinary catheters or any medical devices that are attached to you.
  • Limit personal items on your bedside table and locker top to make it easy for staff to clean these surfaces regularly. Keep personal items off the floor. 
  • If you notice an area that needs cleaning, such as the toilet or the bathroom, please tell a member of staff.
  • Wear slippers or shoes when walking around the ward to keep your feet clean and remove these when you get back on the bed.

Coughs and sneezes spread diseases

To prevent the spread of common infections everyone should follow these simple guidelines:

  • Always carry tissues with you
  • Use a tissue to cover your face when you cough or sneeze
  • Always throw used tissues in a bin
  • Always clean your hands after you have blown your nose or coughed into a tissue

How can visitors help?

  • Do not visit if you are unwell or have had any symptoms within the past 3 days, including nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fever (or feeling feverish), uncontrolled cough or rash
  • Clean your hands before visiting the ward, particularly after going to the toilet
  • Never touch dressings, drips or other equipment around the bed
  • Do not sit on any bed in the ward
  • Please do not bring in any food that needs to go in the fridge. Staff are not allowed to reheat food

It is OK to ask:

No member of staff should take offence at a gentle and polite reminder to check they have cleaned their hands before treating you. 

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