Infection Control for Visitors
Published: July 30, 2012
Everyone has a vital part to play in helping prevent and control infection at so please:
Leave infections at home – if you have suffered diarrhoea or vomiting, or have had a cough, cold or the ‘flu, please stay away from the hospital until you have recovered and have been free of symptoms for 48 hours. Also, cover up any open wounds or cuts.
Wash and clean your hands carefully – if your hands are dirty, wash them before entering the hospital. You should always wash your hands:
• After using the toilet, bed pan or commode
• After handling dirty or contaminated equipment
• Before eating and drinking
• After touching your nose or mouth
Use the alcohol hand gels when you enter and leave clinical areas, including wards. Also use the bedside gel after close contact with a patient. Follow the advice on posters showing you how to use them. Take extra care when needed – If a patient has Clostridium difficile or suffers from diarrhoea or vomiting all visitors (as well as staff) must wash hands with soap and warm water before and after any contact with the patient. There are posters at every wash basin advising how this should be done.
If wards have special hygiene measures in place, for example, requiring staff and visitors to wear aprons and gloves, please follow them or expect to be challenged.
If in doubt, remind staff – we don’t mind being asked if we have cleaned our hands properly.
Don’t clutter – help staff to keep areas clean by not bringing in lots of belongings that can clutter the area around beds. Also take away things that are not required.
Don’t sit on the beds – if you are visiting a patient, please don’t sit on the beds. This increases the risk of infection spreading.
Follow visiting rules – most wards have rules for visiting patients. These include specific visiting times and a limit on the number of visitors at each bed. One of the main reasons for this is to reduce the risk of infection spreading.
Tell us about problems – report any problems (for example, litter or spillages) to ward staff. Our senior matrons are responsible for making sure wards are clean and hygienic. If you want to talk to the matron responsible for the area you are being treated in or visiting, ask a member of staff.
Ask us for advice – if you have any concerns, please ask us about them. We will do our best to find the answers for you.