Protecting Patients - Reducing Infection
The Belfast Trust takes patient safety and infection prevention and control very seriously. We have robust policies in place to reduce the risk of patients contracting infections while they are in one of our hospitals.
How Patients Can Help
- Keeping your hands and body clean is important when you are in hospital, make sure that you bring toiletries, including soap, into hospital with you.
- Do not share or borrow toiletries.
- Please wash your hands - especially before eating and after using the toilet. There are sinks available in all patient areas and hand sanitisers at the end of the beds or on the wall in each room or bay.
- Wear slippers when walking around the wards. This protects you and keeps your feet and bed clean.
- Please do not sit on other patients' beds.
- Help us with our cleaning by keeping your locker top and bed table free of clutter.
- If you see any dirt, dust or mess either around your bed or in the toilets or bathrooms please report this immediately to the ward manager or a staff nurse.
- Please tell staff immediately if your dressing becomes loose or a wound or drip site becomes sore or painful.
- If a member of staff needs to examine you, please do not be afraid to ask them if they have washed their hands or used the hand sanitiser. If they are wearing gloves you can ask if they have changed them before examining you. If you do not feel able to do this please tell the nurse looking after you or the ward manager.
How Visitors Can Help
Public support is a vital part of the battle against infection in hospitals. We ask visitors and anyone else entering hospitals to follow these simple rules:
- Clean hands by either washing with soap and water or using the hand sanitiser/gels provided before and after visiting a hospital ward;
- Please do not to visit if you feel unwell, have a cold, diarrhoea or vomiting
- Do not to bring perishable foods into hospitals;
- Please stick to the visiting times and only 2 visitors to each bed;
- If a patient is being nursed in isolation in a side room or ward please DO NOT enter until you have spoken to a nurse and do not visit any other patients.
- Do not sit on the patient’s bed or touch dressings or equipment around the bed
- We strongly recommend that babies or young children do not visit .
- Keep the patient’s bedside locker and around the bed tidy and clutter free. Personal property should be stored inside the locker. Dirty laundry should be taken home as soon as possible.
- Friends and relatives are requested not to send or bring in flowers.
- Restrictions to visiting may be put in place for infection prevention and control purposes. Ward staff will advise when this is the case.
We are confident that if everyone coming into a hospital follows these simple guidelines, together with the measures taken by doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, we can further improve the prevention and control of infection.