Patient guidelines

The NorthernTrust takes patient safety and infection prevention and control very seriously. We have robust policies in place to reduce the risk of patients contracting infections while they are in one of our hospitals.

Staff, patients and visitors coming into our hospitals all have a part to play in this infection control committment. The Trust is currently reminding patients about their important role.

Coming into hospital as a patient can be a very worrying time. However, when you are staying in hospital you can speed up your recovery by helping to prevent infections by following some simple guidelines:

  • If possible, bath or shower before coming into hospital and as often as you are able during your stay. Staff will be able to advise you on this.
  • Tell your nurse or doctor when arriving at hospital if you recently had any other illnesses or infections such as vomiting, diarrhoea, coughs, colds or flu-like symptoms and any infectious conditions like chicken pox or mumps. 
  • Before entering and after leaving the ward, wash your hands with soap and running water or use the hand sanitisers. Taking a container of moist hand wipes with you will also ensure you always have something available when you need to clean your hands. 
  • Bring clean changes of underwear, nightware and towels with you to hospital. 
  • Take personal toiletries to help maintain personal hygiene such as a flannel, soap and hand wipes. Gentlemen should bring their own razor so they can shave. 
  • Keep your locker and table tidy and clutter free which makes it easier to clean. 
  • Send your dirty washing home to be cleaned as soon as possible. 
  • Do not share personal belongings with other patients such as MP3 players, portable TVs or towels.
  • You should receive a moist handwipe on the meal tray - often people use it after they have eaten. Use it before you eat to ensure your hands are clean or wash them if possible. 
  • Wash your hands after using the toilet and whenever you see they are dirty. 
  • Limit your visitors to two people at one time. 
  • Do not let visitors sit or lie on your hospital bed. 
  • Do not touch or let any visitors touch wounds, dressings, drips, drains or medical equipment. 
  • Hospital staff can help protect you by washing their hands or by cleaning them with sanitisers. If a member of staff needs to examine you or perform a procedure, do not be afraid to ask if they have first washed their hands.

Please speak to the ward sister or charge nurse if you have any concerns or questions about infection control.

For more information please read the information leaflet for patient and visitors , Acute and Community Hospital Visiting Policy and effective handwashing technique poster.

If you have any queries regarding infection control in the Northern Trust please contact 028 9442 4000..

We are confident that if everyone coming into a hospital follows these simple guidelines, together with the measures taken by doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, we can further improve the prevention and control of infection.

Page last updated:13 June 2014