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Infection Prevention and Control in West Hertfordshire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust

Soap covered hands in a basin under a tap of running water

Preventing infection in our hospitals is an important part of patient safety.

Our patients are more vulnerable during their time in hospital, and an infection in hospital may take longer to recover and stay in hospital longer. So, we need to work harder to keep infection at bay. Everyone in our hospitals plays a part in preventing infection whether staff, patients, or visitors.

The colder winter months mean more respiratory infections. We ask that all visitors take extra precautions to avoid bringing an infection into the hospital.

Do not come to visit people if you are feeling unwell

  • If you have had a cold, fever, diarrhoea or vomiting, please wait 48 hours after your symptoms have disappeared before visiting.

When you are visiting:

  • Clean your hands with the gel provided before and after leaving ward area.
  • Wear a face mask if asked to in certain parts of the hospital.
  • Don’t sit on patients' beds as your clothes may be contaminated.
  • If you see any signs of spillages or dirt let a member of staff know.
  • Ask staff if you have any questions about preventing infection.

Keeping you safe

There are many ways we keep patients and visitors safe whilst in our hospitals. Our commitment to you is that we will:

  • wash our hands before and after direct contact with a patient or after an activity that will contaminate our hands
  • be bare below the elbow if we are directly working with patients
  • regularly deep clean equipment and the environment
  • monitor the appropriate use of antibiotics
  • train staff and volunteers in infection prevention
  • screen patients for infection where appropriate
  • follow national guidelines on infection prevention
  • have in place a dedicated Infection Prevention and Control Team to support staff, manage any infection outbreaks and work closely with microbiology.

Find out more about some common infections via the NHS website (all links open in a new window):