Infection Prevention and Control
Whittington Health takes infection control very seriously.
Up to a third of hospital infections are preventable. The main way of reducing infections is good hand hygiene.
Our philosophy is simple - infection control is everyone’s business and maintaining a clean and safe hospital environment is a priority.
We aim to make Whittington Health as clean and safe as possible for everyone. Our staff aim to ensure that we identify earlier any patients who come into hospital or into our community sites with infections, give them the appropriate treatment and prevent other patients getting an infection while in our care.
Information on our hand hygiene campaign 'Join the Whittington Warriors' can be found here.
If you are a patient:
When we are ill, we have more of a risk of infection. . This may be because our immune system is weaker than normal or because we have surgical wounds, which allow germs easier access to the blood stream.
Gel dispensers are mounted at the entrances to The Whittington Hospital and to all our wards. They are also on walls throughout the wards and at the foot of most beds.
The hand gel works well against many viruses and bacteria but it does not kill some germs that cause diarrhoea, so use soap and water to clean your hands after using the toilet, before eating or drinking or taking medication.
If a member of staff needs to examine you or perform a procedure, do not be afraid, if you have not seen them clean their hands to ask them.
If you are a visitor:
Gel your hands when you enter the hospital, before and after visiting your relative/friend. There are hand gel dispensers as you come into the hospital and at the entrance to every ward.
The hand gel works well against many viruses and bacteria – it does not kill some germs that cause diarrhoea, so use soap and water to clean your hands after using the toilet, before eating or drinking, handling medication or if your loved ones have diarrhoea. If you have diarrhoea, please do not visit.
If you are a member of staff:
Good hand hygiene, the simple task of cleaning hands at the right times and in the right way, should be central to everything we do.
We follow the World Health Organization’s (WHO) guidelines for hand hygiene for healthcare staff, called the five moments for hand hygiene. The guidelines were developed by WHO to identify the moments during patient care when staff need to clean their hands to prevent healthcare associated infection (HCAI).
There are five crucial moments when you need to clean your hands when caring for patients:
- before touching a patient
- before clean/aseptic procedures
- after body fluid exposure/risk
- after patient contact
- after touching patient surroundings