How you can help with infection prevention

Hand washing

Hand washing with soap and water is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infections both in hospital and at home.  You can help us to prevent infections by making sure that you and your visitors clean your hands regularly, especially after using the toilet and before eating.

You can also cleanse your hands with the cleansing wipes or the alcohol hand rubs available on the ward – these should be used as well as handwashing.

You will notice that our staff also regularly clean their hands, that they will sometimes wear disposable aprons and gloves, and that all surfaces are regularly cleaned. Again, all of this helps to prevent the spread of infection.

Read how you can effectively wash your hands.

What to bring to hospital with you

Whilst the risk of acquiring an infection is low, keeping your hands and body clean are important when you are in hospital. Please bring personal toiletries, including liquid soap, to hospital with you. Towels and disposable flannels are provided for you throughout your hospital stay.

Men should bring their own razor with them so they can perform facial shaves.

Your bed area

If you need to stay in bed for a long period of time it is useful to have a container of moist hand wipes with you. This means that you can always clean your hands, especially before eating and drinking or when your hands are dirty.

Please try to keep the top of your locker and bed table reasonably free from clutter as this makes it easier for our cleaning staff to clean these areas properly.

Your bed area should be cleaned regularly by our staff. If you or your visitors see something that has been missed during cleaning please report it to the nurse in charge.


  • Please encourage your visitors to wash their hands before and after visiting. 

  • Visitors can use the alcohol hand rubs, which can be found at all entrances to clinical areas, to clean their hands.

  • They should also be advised to cover any open wounds with a suitable dressing before visiting.

  • Please discourage visitors and other patients from sitting on your bed. 

  • Please ask visitors and relatives not to visit if they are feeling unwell. For example if they have had diarrhoea and or vomiting either currently or at any time in the previous 48 hours, have flu or a viral infection.

Toilet hygiene

Please make sure you always wash your hands after using the toilet. If you use a commode please ask for a bowl of water to wash your hands, or use a moist hand wipe afterwards.

Please do not be afraid to ask the nurse for either of these if she or he does not offer.

If you visit the bathroom or toilet and are worried that it does not look clean, please report this immediately to the nurse in charge of the ward and ask that it be cleaned before you use it.

Ward staff

Staff can help protect you by washing their hands or by cleaning them with special alcohol hand rubs before they touch you, such as for an examination.  If a member of staff needs to examine you or perform a procedure, please do not be afraid to ask if they have washed their hands or used an alcohol hand rub first.

Sensible footwear

Please always wear something on your feet when walking around in hospital.  A comfortable pair of slippers is fine, but please make sure they have some grip on the bottom as hospital floors can get slippery when cleaning is taking place. To avoid the risk of falls we also recommend footwear that fits well (though bear in mind your legs can swell during treatment) and is closed on the back.