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Preventing infection

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Infection prevention and control is a top priority for East Kent Hospitals, and we pride ourselves in having some of the lowest rates of infection in the country. 

Many people coming into hospital are worried about getting an infection. Some patients come into hospital with an infection and patients already in hospital may be vulnerable to infections because of their general condition and/or any medication/treatment that they are receiving.

While it is not possible to prevent all infections, most can be successfully treated.

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Clean hands

Hand hygiene – ensuring that hands are clean is the most important method of preventing the spread of infection.

Alcohol hand rub is more effective at cleaning hands than soap and water.

  • For visitors – visitors are requested to clean their hands on entering and leaving wards. Alcohol hand rub is freely available at these points.
  • For patients – patients are encouraged to clean their hands either by washing them with soap and water, using the alcohol hand rub available at the bedside, or using the hand cleansing ‘wet wipes’ which are available on the bedside locker (please ask a member of the nursing staff for a packet if they are not on the locker).
  • For staff – although healthcare staff are required to wash their hands using soap and water in certain situations, cleaning their hands using alcohol hand rub “at the point of care”, before and after contact with patients and their environment is appropriate.

Help us prevent infections

  • If you, or close members of your family, have been ill with diarrhoea and/or vomiting in the week before your admission to hospital, please let a member of staff know. It could be caused by a virus, and you and/or family members could be infectious. The virus could affect other patients and staff on the ward, please encourage them not to visit until they are fully recovered.
  • If any of your family/friends intend to visit you and they are unwell themselves (for example with colds or flu) please encourage them not to visit until they are fully recovered.
  • If you have a wound, drip, and/or catheter please avoid touching it unnecessarily. You may spread bacteria that naturally live on the skin from one area of the body to another, and this may increase the risk of infection.
  • Keep your bedside table and locker tidy and uncluttered so that the domestic staff can clean it easily.

If you have any questions or concerns about infection control issues, please let the ward staff know, or ask to speak to a member of the infection prevention and control team, available via switchboard.

East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust is pleased to confirm that the Trust operates a comprehensive MRSA (meticillin resistant staphylococcus aureus) policy, which is compliant with the Department of Health operational guidance issued on 1 December 2008.

Information on infection prevention across East Kent Hospitals and what you can do to help stop the spread of infections can be accessed by following the links below

Useful links

Information about MRSA
Information about Clostridium difficile 


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