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Infection prevention and control

Making sure our services are clean and safe is a top priority when caring for our patients. Find out what we’re doing to prevent infection, and what you can do to help.

Someone washing their hands with soap and water

What we’re doing to stop infection

Our infection control team works to protect staff, patients and visitors by:

  • Keeping staff up-to-date with the latest guidance in infection prevention and control

  • Supplying alcohol hand rub at the entrance of all wards and bays and by each bed in our community hospitals – this is for the use of all staff, patients and visitors. In mental health services, alcohol gel is provided at the entrance to wards and carried by clinical staff

  • Using aprons and gloves when changing dressings or providing personal patient care

  • Cleaning our wards and clinical areas of the hospital thoroughly every day, overseen by nurses

  • Washing out hands before and after treatment (if you don’t see a member of staff do this, it’s OK to ask)

  • Segregating patients at risk of serious infection using our side rooms or smaller bays to prevent germs and viruses spreading – these areas are nursed with strict controls that minimise the risk of passing on infection, so visiting hours may be limited in these areas

What you can do to help

Infections aren’t fussy about who spreads them – we rely on our visitors and patients to help us keep them under control.

  • Please don’t visit a ward or department if you’re feeling sick yourself or have recently suffered fever, a sore throat, flu, diarrhoea and/or vomiting within the last 48 hours

  • Use the alcohol hand rub when you enter and leave a ward to help prevent the spread of infection

  • If you are visiting, use the public toilets, not patient toilets, and remember to wash your hands

  • Please don’t bring in lots of bags and other items, and take away anything not needed by the patient. This helps us keep wards clean

  • Cover up any open cuts or wounds

  • If you think something needs cleaning please ask – a member of staff will be happy to help

  • Please don’t sit on patient beds, use the chairs provided

  • If you have any worries about infection, ask us for advice – we will do our best to answer your questions


The following patient / visitor leaflets are available for download:

Coming to hospital

A member of staff smiling at Antelope House, adult mental health inpatient service in Southampton
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