Infection prevention, it's everyone's responsibility

The Trust will continue to aim to deliver quality healthcare services safely with infection prevention at its core. However, germs can be brought into wards and departments by anyone and they can be spread to other people. Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust takes the prevention and control of infection very seriously and it has a dedicated infection prevention team, who work closely with staff to help advise where and how people with specific infections should be cared for, depending on the type of germ or infection concerned.

All Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust staff receives regular Infection prevention training and are kept up-to-date with how to protect the people who use our services, visitors and themselves.

Our staff takes infections seriously and are committed to keeping our service users as safe and healthy as possible.

Remember, its ok to ask any member of staff if they have washed their hands or used the hand gel!

Reducing Healthcare Acquired Infections

A growing number of infections – such as MRSA (Meticillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), and Carbapenem- resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) are becoming harder to treat as the antibiotics used to treat them become less effective.

Our efforts to reduce these Infections, across our hospitals continue to be a top priority.

We continue to reduce healthcare acquired infections (HAIs) by improving our use of antibiotics and by creating an environment and culture whereby our staff understand the importance of ensuring wards and patient areas are clean and that we all practice good infection prevention and hygiene when caring for our patients.

All staff, both clinical and non-clinical, must complete mandatory infection prevention training. Our staff are encouraged to be vigilant and report cleanliness issues. We routinely ask patients and visitors to use the hand gel provided when coming onto the wards and departments .

10 Top Tips to Prevent Infections During Your Stay in Hospital

1. Hand Hygiene

Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ask visitors to use the hand gel found at the entrance to all wards and departments. It should be applied every time you enter and leave the ward or department. Effective hand hygiene is the cornerstone of safe patient care. Hands are the most common vehicle for the spread of infection. The purpose of hand hygiene is to remove dirt and/or to reduce the level of organisms on the hands.

We would also ask our patients to follow the 5 simple steps below as a guide for when to clean your hands. The ward hand wash basins are available to patients and visitors as well as the hand gel at every bed. Moist hand wipes are also available for use BEFORE you eat your meal. Bring a container of moist hand-wipes with you, to ensure you always have some available when you need to clean your hands.

patient hand hygiene

2. Personal Hygiene

It is important that you shower/bathe especially on the day of surgery. Bring personal toiletries including soap and a clean flannel with you. Please do not share your toiletries with other patients. Gentlemen should bring their own razor to shave. Keeping your teeth clean is also key to preventing bacteria in the mouth causing infections.

3. Keep Hydrated for Good Health

Drinking fluids is crucial to staying healthy and maintaining the function of every system in your body, including your heart, brain, and muscles. Fluids carry nutrients to your cells, flush bacteria from your bladder, and prevent constipation.

The recommended amount to drink each day is 1.5 to 2 litres or 6 to 8 glasses of fluids, spread evenly throughout the day.

How to tell if you’re dehydrated

  • Feeling thirsty
  • A dry mouth, lips and eyes
  • Headache
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded
  • Muscle cramps
  • Feeling tired

Hints and tips to stay hydrated

  • Fruits and vegetables are great sources of water. Eat these daily to stay hydrated and maintain your health and wellbeing
  • Keep a water bottle handy to encourage you to drink water wherever and whenever
  • Remember to drink more when you exercise or spend time in hot environments
  • Set reminders on your phone, watch or email to drink a glass or water regularly
  • Add a slice of lemon, lime and/or basil to your water to give it some extra flavour

Check the colour of your urine against the colour chart to see if you’re drinking enough fluids throughout the day.

If your urine matches 1 to 3 then you are adequately hydrated.

If your urine matches 4 to 7 then you are dehydrated and you need to drink more.

Please be aware that certain foods, medications and vitamin supplements can change the colour of your urine.

urine colour chart

4. Keeping the Environment Clean

Try to keep the top of your locker and bed-table free from clutter to assist with cleaning.

5. Report any new symptoms

Please report promptly any new symptoms you may have, for example diarrhoea, vomiting or nausea and any discomfort you may have with cannulae in veins or urinary catheters. A cannula is a small tube that has been inserted into a vein. A urinary catheter is a tube that has been inserted into your bladder.

6. Coughs and Sneezes

Cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing and wash your hands afterwards. If for any reason you are not able to access the wash hand basin, hand wipes will be provided.

7. Keep Moving

Gentle exercise helps prevent a number of complications such as constipation, incontinence, chest infection and loss of muscle tone. Where possible, you will be encouraged to eat whilst sitting in a chair at your bedside, preferably wearing your own clothes. We encourage you to wash and dress independently and walk to the toilet where possible. If you have difficulty with mobilising, we will provide appropriate mobility aids to support your mobilisation with the aim of helping you to regain your independence.

8. Avoid Touching Wounds, Drips & Catheters

This will reduce the risk of infection. If staff come to look at or change your dressings it’s crucial that they wash their hands. Please ask them if you have not seen them washing their hands.

9. Be Up to Date with Your Vaccinations

Being fully up to date with vaccinations is important to protect against diseases such as measles, whooping cough (pertussis) and tetanus.

Whatever the reason and regardless of your age now, it’s worthwhile to check if you’re up to date with your vaccinations. You can do this by having a chat with your GP before coming into hospital. Alternatively, discuss with the medical and nursing staff during your hospital admission process.

10. What We Ask From Your Visitors

Visitors play an important part in helping to prevent the spread of infection. Please ensure you:

  • Wash or gel their hands when entering and leaving the ward.
  • Are aware of any infection control signs in ward areas and do not wander into any other room.
  • Do not visit if they themselves have an infection such as diarrhoea and/or vomiting.
  • Do not visit if they have been In contact with someone who has chicken pox, coughs and colds etc.
  • Use the chairs available and do not sit on your or other patients’ beds.
  • Visitors bringing children – It is important to note that although children are welcome to visit, babies and young children are more at risk of picking up and passing on infections. Please do not let them visit any other patients or wander around the ward

What You Can Expect From Us

Hospital staff can help you by washing their hands or using alcohol gel. If a member of staff needs to examine you or perform a procedure, do not be afraid to ask if they have first washed their hands.

  • If you visit the toilet/bathroom and you are concerned that it does not look clean, report this immediately to the nurse in charge of the ward.
  • Your bed area should be cleaned regularly, if you see something which has been missed during cleaning, report it to the nurse in charge and request it is cleaned.