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Infection prevention and control

We take infection prevention and control very seriously. We have robust policies in place to reduce the risk of patients getting infections in our hospitals.

You can also download this Public Health Agency leaflet on preventing food poisoning.

How patients can help
  • Keep your hands and body clean when you are in hospital. Make sure you bring toiletries, including soap, into hospital with you.
  • Do not share or borrow toiletries.
  • Wash your hands, especially before eating and after using the toilet. Sinks and hand sanitisers are available in all patient areas.
  • Wear slippers when walking around the wards. This protects you and keeps your feet and bed clean.
  • Do not sit on other patients’ beds.
  • Keep the top of your locker and bed table free of clutter.
  • If you see any dirt 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, you can 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. Please tell a nurse or the ward manager if you have any concerns.
How visitors can help

Public support is a vital part of the battle against infections in hospitals. Please follow these simple rules:

  • Clean your hands with soap and water or with the hand sanitisers provided before and after visiting a hospital ward.
  • Please do not visit if you feel unwell, have a cold, have diarrhoea or have been vomiting.
  • Do not bring perishable foods into hospitals.
  • Please stick to the visiting times and ensure only two 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 and young children do not visit.
  • Keep the patient’s bedside locker and around the bed tidy and free of clutter. Personal property should be stored inside the locker. Dirty laundry should be taken home as soon as possible.
  • Please do not send or bring in flowers.
  • Visiting restrictions may be put in place for infection prevention and control purposes. Ward staff will advise when this is the case.