Fighting Infections Together

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1. Clean your hands

  • We all carry germs on our hands. It is important to clean your hands, especially after using the toilet and before eating
  • If you need help cleaning your hands, ask one of the nurses.

2. Visitors hands

  • Visitors should also clean their hands as they arrive and leave to avoid bringing in infections

3. Keep infections away

  • If a friend or relative has an infection such as a cough, cold, flu, diarrhoea or vomiting, it is best if they do not visit you. Ask one of the nurses if you're unsure

4. Ward rules

  • Please follow the rules for your ward.
  • You may be asked to limit your visitors.
  • It may also be necessary to stagger your visitors so they come at different times. Visitors must not sit on your bed.
  • Avoid clutter and gifts as keeping your bed area tidy makes cleaning easier
  • Any food / fruit brought in for you should be covered and you are advised to only have small amounts
  • The ward will be cleaned at least once a day, please inform a member of staff if you notice an area that needs additional cleaning   

5. Patient toilets are for patients

  • To minimise the risk of infection, your visitors should not use the patient toilets on the ward. Staff can direct family and friends to the visitors' toilets  

6. Please tell us

  • Please tell one of the nurses as soon as possible if you experience any diarrhoea or vomiting. It is important to let staff know so they can keep you and other patients safe  

7. Avoid touching

  • To reduce the risk of infection, please avoid touching your wound, wound dressings, urinary catheters, intravenous (IV) drips or drains. Ask a nurse if you need help or are in any discomfort 

8. It's OK to ask

  • All doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff are trained to clean their hands in the right way and at the right time. But it's OK to ask if they've cleaned their hands before they tend to you. They won't mind  

Want to know more?
Please ask the nurses if you have any questions or concerns about infection control.

For further information on infection prevention and control please visit:

These Top Tips have been developed by The Patients Association and the NHS.
This information has been adapted for PHNT by the Infection Prevention and Control Team at Derriford Hospital.

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