Infection prevention and control
NHS Ayrshire & Arran regards the prevention and control of infection as a key priority. The protection of patients, staff and visitors from healthcare associated infection (HAI) in hospital and the wider community is of paramount importance.
Effective prevention and control of infection is everybody's responsibility and it can only be achieved by all staff recognising the part that they and others within the organisation play.
The most important people in preventing and controlling infection are our staff, clinical and non-clinical. The most effective way of protecting patients and others from HAI is to care for our patients in a clean environment using clean equipment with clean hands. It is our staff who ensure that this is done.
Staff must ensure that they:
- fully comply with infection control policies and guidelines
- review and assess their practice and that of their colleagues
- challenge those who do not adhere to policy and good infection control practice
- seek specialist advice whenever necessary
- act as a role model for good infection prevention and practice
- include a HAI element in their Personal Development Plans (PDPs)
Visitors to our hospitals also have a role to play.
All visitors should be encouraged to follow basic hygiene rules when visiting patients in hospital. These include:
- Not visiting a patient in hospital if they are feeling unwell or have an infection such as flu or a heavy cold, or they or a member of their household are suffering from diarrhoea or vomiting.
- If they have had vomiting or diarrhoea they should not visit a patient in hospital until 48 hours after the symptoms have stopped.
- Washing their hands regularly with soap and water, especially after going to the toilet. Use the hand hygiene facilities (hand washing or alcohol hand rub) before entering the ward and after visiting.
- Limiting the amount of items brought into hospital as they can cause clutter and make cleaning of the ward difficult.
- Not touching dressings, wounds, drips, catheters or any other equipment round the bed.
- Not using the patients' toilets.
- Adhering to visiting times and to the number of visitors allowed.
- Speaking to any staff member about whether they have cleaned their hands.
Click on the links below for more information:
Hand Hygiene posters