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Infection Prevention & Control

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Our commitment to Infection Prevention & Control

Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to the prevention of avoidable Healthcare Associated Infections. We have a comprehensive IPC programme and a dedicated Infection Prevention Team working alongside clinical staff; all of whom are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our patients.

We will:

  • Treat patients in a clean and safe environment and minimise exposure to healthcare associated infections.
  • Provide a well maintained, clean and safe environment using the most up to date cleaning methods and frequencies.
  • Provide our staff with education and training to ensure that they are competent to ensure infection prevention is at the heart of what we do.
  • Have matrons who are responsible for promoting a culture of cleanliness in their areas.
  • Listen to the views of patients, their families and visitors about the standard of cleanliness and report and monitor how we are doing.
  • Design any new facilities with ease of cleaning in mind.


Help us pull together to prevent infection

IChand Unwell, sickness or diarrhoea in the last 48 hours? Please don’t visit!
IChand Report any concerns about cleanliness standards.
IChand Use the hand gel provided before and after visiting a ward.
IChand Sit on a chair and not the bed when visiting, and try not to visit in work clothes if you work in a dusty or dirty
IChand Do not touch drips, wounds or catheters.

It's OK to Ask!


Effective hand hygiene is the single most important action staff can undertake to prevent the spread of germs that can cause healthcare associated infections. Our patients are welcome to ask staff caring for them to clean their hands using soap and water or the alcohol gel.

Remember - it’s OK to ask.

Concerns about cleanliness

If you have concerns about cleanliness or infection prevention you are encouraged to report these concerns to the nurse in charge or to our Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS).

You can contact our PALS team on 0300 123 1732 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Annual Infection Prevention & Control report 2016-17

Annual Infection Prevention & Control report 2016-17

The annual Infection Prevention & Control report for 2016-17 was approved by the Trust Board in September 2017.


MRSA bacteria are usually spread through skin-to-skin contact with someone who has an MRSA infection or has the bacteria living on their skin.

The bacteria can also be spread through contact with contaminated objects such towels, sheets, clothes, dressings, surfaces, door handles and floors.

Visit NHS choices for more Norovirus information.

In line with Department of Health guidance, the Trust screens patients for elective (planned) surgery either in the pre-operative assessment clinic or on the ward prior to surgery. Patients admitted to our wards through emergency areas are similarly routinely screened for MRSA on admission.

Clostridium difficile (C.diff)

We have made huge progress in controlling this superbug in the last five years, and the number of new cases per month is now very small. We control the use of antibiotics tightly (these are recognised to be probably the strongest factor in causing C.diff infection) and any patient with diarrhoea is speedily isolated, if possible within four hours. We have fast track cleaning teams who are trained to use additional cleaning methods to clean isolation rooms and ward bays used by infected patients.

If you are unfortunate enough to get C.diff, we will tell your GP so that (s)he will know how best to prevent your getting it again.

Visit NHS choices for more Norovirus information.


This is the germ that causes infectious gastroenteritis in schools, nurseries, residential homes and hospitals usually during the winter. It is highly contagious. As soon as we have a confirmed case, we will warn visitors, staff and other patients; it is best not to visit the hospital at this time unless you must. Careful handwashing will help to protect you from infection.

Visit NHS choices for more Norovirus information.


This infection tends to occur in epidemics in the winter. Usually, affected patients are elderly, but this isn't always the case. All people over the age of 65, and some younger people are eligible for free vaccination every Autumn, which will give you complete protection. At times of influenza epidemic, hospitals are under very great strain, so again visit only if absolutely necessary. Follow the Department of health advice to 'Catch it, bin it, kill it'.

Every year the Infection Prevention & Control team prepare hospital staff for the expected influenza epidemic with education sessions and training in the correct use of protective masks.

Visit NHS choices for more Influenza information.

Flu safeDon't bring flu into hospital!

Flu causes a sudden high temperature, headache and general aches and pains, tiredness and a sore throat. You can also lose your appetite, feel nauseous and have a cough.

Please do not attend A&E or visit family and friends in hospital if you are unwell with flu-like symptoms.

You should always contact 111 or your GP in the first instance to be advised further.

{slider What are the symptoms?}

The most common symptoms of influenza (flu) are an abrupt onset of fever, shivering, headache, muscle ache and dry cough. Most people confuse influenza with a heavy cold, however influenza is usually a more severe illness than the common cold, which is caused by other respiratory viruses such as rhinovirus.

{slider How is the flu spread?}

The flu virus is highly contagious and is easily passed from person-to-person when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Transmission can also occur by touching a surface contaminated with respiratory secretions and then putting the fingers in the mouth or nose or near the eyes.

The flu virus can live on a hard surface for up to 24 hours and a soft surface for around 20 minutes.

{slider How can I reduce the spread of flu?}

  • Covering your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing, and using a tissue when possible.
  • Disposing of dirty tissues promptly and carefully.
  • Maintaining good basic hygiene, e.g. washing hands frequently with soap and water to reduce spreading the virus from your hands to face or to other people.
  • Cleaning hard surfaces you regularly come into contact with, e.g. door handles, using a normal cleaning product.
  • Making sure your children follow this advice.

{slider What if I get the flu?}

It is important for you to monitor your health closely for seven days. There is no need for you to isolate yourself from other people as long as you remain well. If during the period you develop a feverish illness accompanied by one or more of cough, sore throat, headache and muscle aches, you should stay at home and contact;

  • Call 111
  • Your GP

Please do not attend the A&E or visit family and friends in hospital if you are unwell with flu-like symptoms.

At-risk groups, such as the elderly, pregnant women and patients with heart problems, diabetes or lung, liver or renal diseases, or those who have weak immune systems are at risk of developing complications, should contact their GP directly.

Rest, take paracetamol and drink plenty of fluids (non alcoholic) Take ibuprofen, if there are no contraindications - e.g. asthmatics, those who suffer from indigestion. Always read the drug information sheet that is with the medication.


Patients and visitors information leaflets

Patients and visitors leaflet - How you can help us pull together to prevent infection

Cdiff (Clostridium difficile) leaflet

MRSA leaflet - for patients and carers

Norovirus leaflet

Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) leaflet

Carbapenemase-producing Enterobacteriaceae (CPE) leaflets:
-  If I have an infection – what does this mean?
-  I am a contact of someone who is a carrier or has an infection – what does this mean?


4ward is our Trustwide culture change programme which is helping us build a more positive, supportive workplace for the benefit of our patients and colleagues. At its heart are our four 4ward Behaviours.